It was amongst a number of awards given by the City of Melbourne at the Melbourne Town Hall on 28th August to individuals and organisations making significant contributions to Melbourne’s profile, community and environment.
In congratulating Mr Penrose, Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, said “with this award, we recognize [his] passion and commitment to making Melbourne a better city…and hope [his] achievements inspire and challenge others.”
Mr Penrose said, “the award is a recognition of the important work of the Yarra Riverkeeper Association, and the contribution of its members and supporters. It is also an acknowledgment of the central role that the Yarra River plays in the life of Melbourne.”
The Yarra provides most of Melbourne’s clean and precious drinking water. It is the centrepiece of many city cultural events, and plays host to sporting and recreational activities. It provides city dwellers with opportunities to connect with the natural world, a key ingredient in our overall well-being.
But sadly our dependence on the Yarra has not been matched by our care for it. It is polluted with a cocktail of urban wastes. Its vegetated banks are being smothered by more and bigger buildings. And the river is shrinking dramatically because we take away most of its life-giving water. Pollution is now managed better but, on the other fronts, the situation is getting worse.
The Yarra Riverkeeper Association urges Melburnians to get involved in the public debate about urban development practices and water management, which critically affect the Yarra, and to go down to the river and enjoy its many wonders, because people protect what they love.
Mr Penrose says, “my hope is that all Melburnians come to appreciate fully our vital connection with the wonderful river, which literally flows in our veins, and that we all become, in effect, Yarra Riverkeepers.”
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Big congratulations from all of us here at Environment Victoria!