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Strategy addresses stormwater issues

A vital tool to help protect Tasmania’s waterways from the negative effects of stormwater runoff was launched in Hobart today.

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, David O’Byrne, said the State Stormwater Strategy sets out key principles to reduce the impact of stormwater on our waterways.

"Stormwater, particularly in urban areas, contains large amounts of litter, sediments, faecal bacteria, hydrocarbons, nutrients, heavy metals and other pollutants, all of which can find their way into our rivers and streams," Mr O’Byrne said.

"Monitoring water quality in urban waterways in Tasmania has demonstrated a clear relationship between increasing urbanisation and decreasing water quality."

The State Stormwater Strategy is based on best management practices currently in use at local, national and international levels.

It also addresses the recommendations of the Tasmanian State Policy on Water Quality Management 1997 which highlights the importance of managing stormwater in new developments at both the construction and operational stages.

"The Strategy was developed in consultation with local government, which has primary responsibility for stormwater management in Tasmania, and is intended as a guidance document rather than a regulatory instrument in its own right," he said.

"It will assist local government and public and private sector professionals involved in urban development including planners, engineers, landscape architects, property developers and builders, as well as the wider community."

Mr O’Byrne said the Strategy is also applicable to individual homeowners and the community by promoting sustainability through water conservation, rainwater harvesting, native landscape design and environmental education.

The Strategy can be viewed here.