Sea change for diversion drain

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
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A major earthmoving effort has opened the stagnant Vasse diversion drain to the open ocean in a bid to improve water quality throughout summer.

It comes amid a heightened push to better understand and manage the Geographe region’s waterways, with three new draft management plans released earlier this month.

The opening of the drain’s entrance is being trialled as part of the Vasse Taskforce’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways program and aims to combat the low flows, warm water temperatures and high nutrient levels that plague the area in summer.

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Task force chairwoman Sally Talbot is seeking feedback on the initiative’s effectiveness and urged people to take an online survey.

“The trial is backed by years of data that we’ve collected about how to improve the health of our waterways,” Dr Talbot said. “But it’s vitally important that we listen to the feedback of people living in the local area when we do the assessment of the science.”

The overarching Revitalising Geographe Waterways extends to the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands, Toby Inlet and the lower Vasse River.

Earlier this month, three new draft management plans were released as part of the program.

City of Busselton environment officer Robyn Paice said their development had been a three-year process involving input from the community, scientists and managers of the waterways.

“We are encouraging the community to have their say on the plans so that they can help shape the future management of these iconic water assets” Dr Paice said.

Details of the survey and management plans can be found at rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/rethinking- drainage.

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