Richmond River quality overlooked
A GOVERNMENT plan aimed at protecting the environment of the Northern Rivers fails to mention the need to protect water quality in the Richmond River, Ballina mayor Phillip Silver has pointed out.
Cr Silver made the observation about the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water’s draft Far North Coast Regional Conservation Plan at last week’s council meeting, noting the dramatic impact of big fish kills after major floods in recent years.
The fish kills hit the local fishing industry hardest, with the commercial fishing industry having to abandon the Richmond for months at a time to allow fish and prawn stocks to recover.
The fish kills have had flow-on effects into the tourism industry and hit other business sectors, particularly in Ballina.
“We have identified water quality in the Richmond River as fundamental to our (Ballina Shire Council’s) goals and wishes,” Cr Silver said.
The council voted to ‘express its strongest concerns’ to the department about the omission.