Tasmania’s peak environment body has raised concerns that the State government’s controversial water reforms are failing to adequately focus on the need to protect water catchment health.

“Whilst the expensive water bills have been highly controversial on social & equity grounds – there has also been a failure to properly promote water conservation and catchment health,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, Director of Environment Tasmania.

“The use of Atrazine and other Triazine herbicides in forestry and agriculture particularly within water catchment areas needs to cease, these chemicals are banned in many parts of the world and the US EPA are currently reviewing their use with a view to banning them. It is unacceptable that politicians have not been more proactive in ensuring that the health concerns relating to these chemicals have not been addressed,” said Dr Pullinger,

“We would recommend that a substantial portion of the revenue from the water bills is re-invested directly into better water monitoring, water catchment protection and the development of an integrated catchment management framework for Tasmania – which is what we theoretically have to implement anyway as part of our commitments to the National Water Initiative (NWI),” he concluded.
Dr Phill Pullinger, Environment Tasmania