Tony Burke, Member for Watson and Joanne Ryan, Member for Lalor are pleased to announce that a Shorten Labor Government will assist in cleaning up the Werribee River by investing $3 million to upgrade litter traps and stormwater treatment drains.   

This election will be a choice between a Shorten Labor Government with a plan for the environment, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.  

Mr Burke said Labor had committed $200 million to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

 “Through the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program, a Shorten Labor Government will restore urban rivers across the country to their natural beauty.”

 Labor’s investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including revegetation, tree planting, waste capture and naturalisation projects,” Mr Burke said. 

For too long, our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like storm water drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit. 

Labor will engage with the Wyndham City Council and local community groups including the Werribee River Association to ensure that our Werribee River is protected for generations to come.

Labor’s $200 million investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including: 

  • Building wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
  • Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
  • Citizen science and education programs along creeks and corridors, including bush kinder.
  • Bird boxes and waste capture.
  • Employment of indigenous rangers.
  • Turning urban waterways back into creeks and rivers again through changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces for example, cement surfaces turned back to river banks. 

“Like all urban rivers and waterways, litter is a constant challenge for the Werribee River and despite tireless efforts of local volunteers to clean up the river, more needs to be done,” said Ms Ryan.  

A large amount of the ocean plastics which are causing extraordinary damage to marine life and seabirds come directly from urban rivers. 

Labor’s commitment to cleaning up the Werribee River is part of a broader strategy to restore our oceans to health, including restoring Australia’s marine parks and tackling waste and plastics. 

Our environment is buckling from the pressure of climate change, pollution, waste and destruction of natural areas.

 The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government have consistently failed to provide federal environment programs that adequately address the urgent need for urban river rehabilitation. 

“Everyone who knows me knows how important the Werribee River is to me. I grew up on the Werribee River and it is still my favourite place to go and enjoy,” Ms Ryan said.  

“We need to invest in a healthy future for our local waterways to ensure that the next generation can enjoy the Werribee River like I have been able to throughout my life.” 

Labor is committed to undoing the massive cuts to Australia’s Marine Parks and we can afford to invest in our urban rivers such as the Werribee River because unlike the Liberals, we won’t give an $80 billion handout to multinationals and the big banks.   



Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra  


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