Improving inner west waterways
Monday 13 November 2017
Inner West Council will investigate improving water quality in the Parramatta River, with a view to creating a safe swim site in the local catchment.
Council has unanimously decided to work with the Parramatta River Catchment Group to create the safe swim site, and give additional support to Cooks River Alliance that would result in measurable improvements in Cooks River water quality.
“The inner west has two of Sydney’s most significant waterways, and both have been polluted, neglected and degraded,” Mayor of Inner West Darcy Byrne said.
“There is strong community support for improving both rivers,” he said.
“Leichhardt tidal baths operated in Callan Park until the 1950s. There’s no reason, with concerted effort, we can’t reintroduce a swimmable site there within the next decade.
“One measure that should see immediate improvements is to install gross pollutant traps (GPTs) on all stormwater drains in the inner west. Council has resolved to investigate that option as well,” Mayor Byrne said.
Inner West Council is one of several member councils of the Cooks River Alliance and the Parramatta River Catchment Group, partnerships that are focused on long-term improvements of both waterways.
“Both rivers are very much associated with the earliest days of the establishment of Sydney,” Mayor Byrne said.
“While these days we recognise the rivers as environmental and community resources - with many natural, cultural and historical qualities - it’s fair to say they were very much taken for granted in years gone by. They were polluted by industry and used as dumping grounds.
“Times have changed and now enormous work and effort has gone into rehabilitating both rivers.
“While Cooks and Parramatta rivers are now slowly recovering, there is still plenty more than can be done< Mayor Byrne said.
Cooks River Alliance executive officer Sue Burton welcomes Inner West Council’s call for acceleration of the health of the Cooks River.
“There is a strong community drive to see the River healthy and able to be used for recreation as well as supporting abundant plant and animal life. Working together we can do this,” she said.
Visit Council’s GPT data page to see the amount of waste collected by Council's 23 GPTs before it enters the Cooks River, Parramatta River, and Sydney Harbour.