Labor pledges to make Lake Macquarie water quality a key by-election issue

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Labor Candidate for Charlestown Jodie Harrison has today pledged to annually report on the health of Lake Macquarie to the people of Charlestown if elected at the upcoming by-election.

Lake Macquarie is the largest coastal salt water lake in Australia and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people for its environmental and recreational values.

As Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Jodie Harrison has ensured a focus on the Lake’s water quality with a determination to ensure it remains a healthy natural asset for the community to access into the future.

“Prioritising the health of Lake Macquarie has long been a key concern of mine and there is a lot more that can be done,” Labor Candidate for Charlestown Jodie Harrison said.

“There are more pressures on the health of the Lake as a result of increased population and development - we need to be keeping a watch to ensure its health is maintained.

“I will release an annual scorecard that will report on the Lake’s water quality and ecosystem health.

“As a result, the community will be able to hold the government authorities that oversee Lake Macquarie to account.

“The former member for Charlestown, Andrew Cornwell, made no public statements about protecting and improving the lake’s water quality – that will change if I am elected by the people of Charlestown at the by-election.

“If given the honour of representing the people of Charlestown in the NSW Parliament, I will fight for more funding from the Office of Environment & Heritage for crucial restorative works like riparian rehabilitation.

“We also need Hunter Water to think less about building more dams and more about protecting our lake and beaches.

“As Mayor, I’ve had many local residents tell me that sewage overflows are occurring far too often - I want to see Hunter Water work to reduce sewage overflows.”

Ms Harrison was joined by Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley at the shore of Lake Macquarie in Warner’s Bay to make the announcement.

“The Liberal MPs elected in the Hunter region in 2011 have made no commitments to protect the local environment,” Shadow Environment Minister Luke Foley said.

“I welcome the fact that Jodie Harrison will build on her work as the environmentally conscious Mayor of Lake Macquarie, if she is elected as the Member for Charlestown.

“Her initiative to publicly release an annual scorecard on the environmental health of Lake Macquarie will give the community the transparency and accountability they deserve to protect this remarkable natural asset.” Mr Foley said.