Greens MP for Melbourne Ellen Sandell mentioned swimming within the decrease Yarra was a misplaced Melbourne pastime that ought to be revived.
“Solely 50 years in the past, folks might swim within the Yarra inside the reaches of the CBD,” Ms Sandell mentioned.
“There’s no motive we will’t make risk once more. It’s formidable nevertheless it’s potential.”
The decrease Yarra winds by way of the Greens-held seats of Melbourne and Prahran and thru Richmond, which is marginal Labor however important to the minor get together’s aspiration to take the steadiness of energy at subsequent month’s election.
Water high quality is mostly very poor in these areas, in response to the Atmosphere Safety Authority.
The EPA monitored 48 websites within the Yarra catchment in 2016-17 and located the atmosphere was beneath extreme stress in many of the urbanised elements of the river and its tributaries.
In line with Melbourne Water, habitats for platypus, fish and birds are badly degraded and have declined within the decrease reaches of the Yarra because the 1990s.
The Andrews authorities launched the Yarra River Motion Plan final yr, a technique to guard and improve the river as Melbourne grows.
It consists of the restoration of the Bolin Bolin billabong in Bulleen and investigating the potential to supply an environmental water licence for the decrease Yarra, utilizing 1100 megalitres of water beforehand claimed by the Amcor paper mill in Alphington.
The Greens mentioned the plan was a step in the direction of restoring the well being of the Yarra however wanted to go additional and embody “swimmability” as a objective.
The Liberals have additionally pledged to enhance the well being of the Yarra, by halving the quantity of litter that enters Port Phillip Bay inside 5 years.
State Political Correspondent for The Age