Report helps councils manage Georges River

Published Monday, 28th November 2016

Volunteers testing water quality

A report on the health of the Georges River catchment for 2015-16 has rated the overall ecological condition of the freshwater and estuarine sections of the Georges River as remaining “fair”.

The report was issued by the Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee Inc (GRCCC), of which Fairfield City Council is a member.  

GRCC’s River Health Report Card provides an assessment of the ecological health of waterways across the Georges River catchment and shows that for large areas of the Georges River catchment with intact native forest, waterways maintain “good” to “excellent” ecological condition.

In the middle to lower catchment, which is very urbanised and home to more than a million residents, many waterways are ecologically degraded.

The overall ecological condition of the freshwater and estuarine sections was rated C+ and indicates a slight decline in ecological condition compared to the previous year.

GRCCC acting chair Sutherland Shire Councillor Peter Scaysbrook said the river health monitoring program used scientists to collect data on a number of important ecological indicators across the Georges River catchment.

“This helps us understand the long-term health and condition of the Georges River estuary and the freshwater creeks,” Clr Scaysbrook said.

“Councils are implementing a range of management actions and on ground works to improve the environmental health of our river. I encourage all stakeholders to continue to work together to protect and improve the Georges River.”

Member councils use the River Health Report Cards to guide management actions aimed at countering the negative impacts of urbanisation on waterways.

Stormwater is a major issue in urban waterways. During storms, run-off from our streets carries large amounts of pollutants that flow into our creeks and river with minimal filtration. This run-off can also cause severe erosion.

GRCCC member councils across the Georges River catchment are investing in waterway management to reduce the volume of unfiltered stormwater flows that enter waterways and rehabilitating damaged waterways.

The public can assist in improving the condition of local waterways by:

  • Putting litter in bins rather than gutters;
  • Never tipping oils or paints down drains;
  • Washing cars on lawns;
  • Sweeping leaves and dirt from driveways and gutters to use as garden mulch, and
  • Cleaning up after dogs.

The GRCCC is funded by member councils within the Georges River catchment, including Fairfield, Wollondilly, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Bayside and Sutherland.

Visit www.georgesriver.org.au for a copy of the latest Report Card and email info@georgesriver.org.au for more information on the program.