Tony Burke MP hosts roundtable meeting with Local Government representatives and Catchment Management Authority to discuss future of Cooks River

Federal Member for Watson Tony Burke MP today met with representatives from local councils in the Watson electorate and executives from the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority, to co-ordinate strategies to continue improving the Cooks River.

Mr Burke said it was important to continue to find ways governments at all levels could work with the community to restore and regenerate the Cooks River.

“The Cooks River is a local treasure,” Mr Burke said.

“There has been a lot of work done to improve the Cooks River so far - anyone walking along the river and its surrounds can see what a vastly different place it is.

But there is still more to do and it’s important that different levels of government work together to improve our local waterway. An organised response is the best way to achieve that goal.”

The Cooks River and its tributaries branch extensively through the electorate of Watson.
Beginning as a small water course near Graf Park in Bankstown, the river continues for 23 kilometres in an easterly direction through the local government areas of Bankstown, Strathfield, Burwood and Canterbury towards its end point at Botany Bay.

The river flows through some of the most heavily urbanized and industrialised areas in Australia and has recently been the subject of urban water initiatives designed to aid the regeneration of the river, including funding of over $2 million from the Gillard Labor Government.

The meeting was attended by Federal Member for Watson Tony Burke, Burwood Council General Manager Michael McMahon, Strathfield City Council General Manager David Backhouse, Canterbury City Council General Manager Jim Montague, Bankstown City Council General Manager Luke Nicholls and James Carey Manager from Sustainable Development for ESD Group.

Representatives from the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority included Chairperson Phillip Sansom, who is also the current Mayor of Hurstville Council, General Manager John Carse and Project Officer Phil Birtles.