10-year Plan to Detoxify Parramatta River

Sydney’s westies could have their own beach, under plans to clean up the Parramatta River.

Some 12 councils are joining forces to make Sydney's biggest river swimmable for the first time in 60 years.

For now the waters west of Cabarita are unswimmable, apart from Lake Parramatta.

This is due to pollution from stormwater run-off, sediment from industry and sewerage contamination.

The Parramatta River Catchment Group, which represents 12 local councils from Blacktown to Leichhardt, have set the 10-year target to bring sections of the river and surrounding creeks back to life.

The chairman of the group, Parramatta Mayor Scott Lloyd said the initiative would bring social, economic and environmental benefits to western Sydney's two million residents.

"Every Aussie has the right for a cool dip in a beautiful clean environment without having to drive more than an hour in a hot car to the nearest ocean beach," he said.

Mr Lloyd said it would cost $5 million over three years to start on-ground activation, create a government task force and establish a water quality monitoring program.

He called on the community to vote for their favourite swimming spots online.


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