Media Releases


May 04, 2019

A Shorten Labor Government will revitalise the Port River with a $300,000 commitment. Today, Labor announced the Port River will be a priority project under the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program.

This election will be a choice between a Shorten Labor Government which will invest in our natural environment or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, said Labor had committed $200 million to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

“Through the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program, a Shorten Labor Government will restore urban rivers across the country to their natural beauty,” Mr Burke said.

“Labor’s investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including revegetation, tree planting, waste capture and naturalisation projects.”

Labor candidate for Hindmarsh Mark Butler welcomed the commitment, “for too long, our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like storm water drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit.”

A Shorten Labor Government will engage state and local governments, local councils, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

“The Port River is of such importance to the local community and is home to our precious dolphin pod. Ensuring that the Port River is the healthiest it can be will protect our dolphins and our way of life in the Port.

“This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for a healthier environment in our cities and across Australia or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.”

Labor’s national $200 million investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including:


  • Improving wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
  • Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
  • Citizen science and education programs along rivers and corridors.
  • Bird boxes and waste capture.
  • Turning urban waterways back into creeks and rivers.
  • Utilising natural processes to improve animal habitats.

The Port River runs through the Le Fevre Peninsula to the Gulf of St Vincent; and is home to the only metropolitan population of wild dolphins, as well as having the only wild tail-walking dolphins in the world. The Port River is a vibrant part of our local community, offering tourist attractions such as the Dolphin Cruise, fishing, the Ship Graveyard, and recreational sailing.

Labor’s Urban Rivers program will assist the Estuary Care Foundation in its continued efforts to create a Living Shoreline in the Port, naturally revitalising the River, filtering pollutants, and ensuring our dolphin pod and other sea life flourishes.

“Labor’s commitment to cleaning up urban rivers is part of a broader strategy to restore our oceans to health, including restoring Australia’s marine parks and tackling waste and plastics,” Mr Burke said.

“Labor has committed to undoing the massive cuts to Australia’s Marine Parks. Our environment is buckling from the pressure of climate change, pollution, waste and destruction of natural areas.

“The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government have consistently failed to provide federal environment programs that adequately address the urgent need for urban river rehabilitation.

“Only Labor is serious about protecting the environment and making sure it’s there for future generations to enjoy – action on climate change, investing in the environment, and maintaining Australia’s status as the ‘great outdoors’.”

These policies and projects will form part of a comprehensive platform for a healthier environment in our cities and across Australia.