Revitalising Geographe Waterways cash injection

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Peel Terrace resident Howard George believes the Lower Vasse River is “toxic” and “embarrassing”
Camera IconPeel Terrace resident Howard George believes the Lower Vasse River is “toxic” and “embarrassing” Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Jackson Lavell-Lee

The State Government has announced a cash injection for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program helping improve water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain and Toby inlet.

Funding for the next four years has been locked in ahead of this year’s State budget, amid $111.6 million in funding to continue projects across regional WA.

The funding package promises $25 million over the next four years for Healthy Estuaries WA, which continues and expands on the previous work under the Regional Estuaries Initiative and Revitalising Geographe Waterways projects.

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.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the investment would provide security for the key environmental program.

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.

The Vasse Taskforce, comprising the City of Busselton, GeoCatch, and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, has devised the ongoing management actions to improve the health of the important waterways and will continue to invest in it’s recovery.

Some significant works have begun, including the control of the Mexican Waterlily and environmental regulation of the Eastern Link project.

Further planning is also occurring to advance the living streams approach and investigating sediment removal options in the Toby Inlet.

Vasse Taskforce chairwoman and South West Region MLC Dr Sally Talbot said community input had been pivotal to the program.

More developments in next week’s Busselton Dunsborough Times.

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