Funding boost for waterways welcomed

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
The City of Busselton have welcomed a chas injection to help improve the health of the Lower Vasse River.
Camera IconThe City of Busselton have welcomed a chas injection to help improve the health of the Lower Vasse River. Credit: supplied

The City of Busselton has welcomed a cash injection for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program, helping improve water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain and Toby Inlet.

The State Government last week announced a funding package promising $25m over the next four years for Healthy Estuaries WA.

Funds will be shared between the South West, Peel and the Great Southern regions.

Premier Mark McGowan said it was important to deliver on regional projects to help with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This Royalties for Regions investment will ensure that vital programs can continue to be delivered across regional WA,” he said.

The health of the Lower Vasse River had been a hot topic of discussion for Busselton residents before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the nutrient and algae-rich river described as “toxic” and “embarrassing” by local conservationist Howard George and resulting in the formation of the Lower Vasse River Action Group.

The City of Busselton has completed the process of determining the membership of the Lower Vasse River Management Advisory Group, which is expected to play an important role in providing feedback and advice on the future management of the river.

City of Busselton planning and development services director Paul Needham said positive initiatives to ensure the health of the Lower Vasse River would would come at a “considerable cost” and would need both City and State Government funds.

“It is considered that initiatives that would have a reasonable chance of having a significant beneficial impact on the health and amenity of the river would come at a considerable cost, and the continuing financial support of the State Government will be critical,” he said.

“One of the key recommendations of the Lower Vasse River Waterway Management Plan is the potential implementation of the “living streams scenario” for the 4 Further work to scope, design and cost that initiative is about to be commissioned.”

The City will continue to engage with all residents, including the Lower Vasse River Action Group, concerned about the health of the Lower Vasse River.

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