It's time we looked after rivers: OPINION
WE live on the Northern Rivers but for many of us, it's like we have turned our back on the rivers that run through our region.
The Richmond River is one of the most polluted in the state and yet it was once the lifeblood of this area.
We don't seem to address the river well.
Parks, picnic areas and walking tracks along the river should be a feature of Lismore.
But with the levee wall its like we are trying to shut it out and not think about it too much.
The Richmond and Wilsons Rivers used to carry big ships.
Timber schooners and smaller ship would sail right up to Boatharbour which is tidal.
Ships of up to 1000 tonnes could get to Lismore and riverboats boats would ply their trade up to Leycester Creek.
When the North Coast Steam Navigation Company went into liquidation in the 1950s the era of big ships was over.
The advent of rail and road services has killed it off as a commercial entity.
There hasn't been an oyster industry on the Richmond since the 1970s and attempts to revive it have so far failed.
We can't even agree when there are dead cows floating in the river, whose job it is to clean them up.
In short, it's a shame.
Which is why we like the Greens' $200 million, 15-year plan to restore the Richmond River to its former glory.
We want the Richmond and Wilsons River to be an asset not an eyesore.
Our rivers really should be something we have bipartisan political support for.
Although Lismore Nationals candidate Austin Curtin questioned the $200 million price tag, he was prepared to look at the price tag.
And I'm pleased that Lismore Labor candidate Janelle Saffin and Ballina Labor candidate Asren Pugh have also called for urgent action on the river.