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Stability for the North Esk.

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Friday, 1 July 2005

Commonwealth funding of $3 million will be used to stabilise Launceston’s North Esk River Edge.

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson today presented the money to the Launceston Council, which honours a cornerstone of last year’s election commitment.

“The investment will fund the Tamar River Piling and Town Point Levee Stabilisation projects and was a key focus of my three year plan for Bass,” he said.

“This money will go to replacing a section of 100-

year-old rotting piles, rebuilding or relocating a section of the Town Point levee, and improving access to the river’s edge.”

Mr Ferguson said that while erosion is natural, many human interventions along the river’s edge have hastened the process.

“This has increased stream bank instability, leading to a number of problems including harming streamside vegetation, and increasing siltation,” he said.

“For both people and animals downstream, erosion causes problems, namely poor water quality, which is detrimental for the plants, fish and other animals living in and around it.

“It also makes it less enjoyable for people who use the river for its recreational benefits.

“This significant investment will not only improve river health and increase recreational opportunities, but will also address safety concerns.”

Over the next four years, this funding will be used to see a section of the Tamar River edge stabilised by replacing old rotting timber piles with new steel tube piles. This will not only alleviate the erosion problem but will help reduce flood levels in the North Esk by increasing the waterway area.

Mr Ferguson said that an improved river edge could also initiate new land-use discussions resulting in additional recreational opportunities.

“A revitalised riverfront means opportunities for wildlife and vegetation to recover, which in turn makes the riverfront more attractive both in terms of its recreational and commercial values,” he said.

“I congratulate the Launceston City Council for its work in the process.

“The council has done an excellent job of laying the groundwork for this important project and should be recognised for its detailed planning efforts.”