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Make Our Cities’ Rivers Swimmable Again: Greens

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 19 May 2020

The Greens have pledged to make Australia’s rivers and lakes swimmable again, under their Covid-19 Economic Recovery plan, that’s good for jobs, the economy and the environment.

The Swimmable Lakes and Rivers Pledge would see iconic rivers and lakes across the country restored and clean enough to swim in within the next decade.

It is one of the job-rich projects under the Greens Next Gen Guarantee which would see young people guaranteed a job and secure income to restart the economy and build a better normal after Covid-19.

Greens South Australian Senator and Spokesperson for Environment and Water Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“A green jobs recovery is desperately needed to stem the flow of jobs across the country, as our young people in particular stare down the barrel of years of unemployment.

“From the bushfires to yearning to reconnect with nature after the Covid lockdown, Australian’s are concerned about our environment more than ever before.

“Making the rivers like the Adelaide’s Torrens, Melbourne’s Yarra, Perth’s Swan and even Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, clean enough to swim in, is a wonderful investment in our environment and the community.

“The Greens plan for getting young people into jobs that rehabilitate bushfire devastated areas, protect native wildlife and restore our iconic rivers is a win-win. It’s good for the economy, it tackles youth unemployment and its good for our environment.  

“Swimmable rivers and lakes in our cities isn’t just good for jobs, it’s great for Aussies who want to cool off as we experience more hot days, for our social fabric as we come back together after the pandemic and of course for the environment.

“Many of our urban rivers used to be swimmable, and remain beautiful spots to picnic or exercise around, why shouldn’t they be returned to their former glory of being a spot for a dip as well?

“We are facing a devastatingly high unemployment rate across the country and our young people have been hit the hardest. Jobs in our environment shouldn’t just be in regional areas, we need urban jobs in nature too.

“Together with a Habitat Taskforce to restore bushfire devastated areas and rehabilitate the environment and our wildlife, the Greens' plan to get young people into jobs is a win-win. It’s good for the economy, it tackles youth unemployment and its good for our natural assets.”

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