Urban Rivers and Corridors


A Shorten Labor Government will invest $200 million to restore our urban rivers to their natural beauty.

Australia is the nation of the great outdoors, but for too long our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like industrial waste drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit.

That’s why Labor will engage state and local government, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

Local environmental action groups will be able to apply for small grants, benefitting our urban environment, creating jobs and re-engaging, educating and mobilising local communities to act on local environmental protection.

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

  • Building wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
  • Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
  • Citizen science and education programs along creeks and corridors, including Bush Kinder.
  • Bird boxes and waste capture.
  • Employment of Indigenous Rangers.
  • Turning urban waterways back into creeks and rivers again through changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces (cement turned to river banks).


Labor understands that local organisations with ‘boots on the ground’ are the most passionate and effective organisations in combating environmental degradation and promoting sustainability. Community groups work hard to protect and revitalise their waterways – but it’s a day in, day out battle. This investment will give them the support and resources they sorely need.

Labor will work to restore our urban rivers and river banks to health so that they are a place for local recreation and connection to nature, not an alternative to the rubbish tip.

A Shorten Labor Government will take protecting our environment seriously, making sure it’s there for future generations to enjoy, maintaining Australia’s status as the great outdoors.