Stalemate on sea wrack trigger levels

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Pierra WillixBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Despite ongoing concerns about sea wrack accumulation at Port Geographe, the Department of Transport remains tight lipped on whether it will consider reducing the “trigger levels” that dictate when it will intervene. Pictured is the wrack late last year.
Camera IconDespite ongoing concerns about sea wrack accumulation at Port Geographe, the Department of Transport remains tight lipped on whether it will consider reducing the “trigger levels” that dictate when it will intervene. Pictured is the wrack late last year. Credit: WA News

Despite ongoing concerns about sea wrack accumulation at Port Geographe, the Department of Transport remains tight-lipped on whether it will consider reducing the “trigger levels” that dictate when it will intervene.

Geographe resident and founder of the now disbanded Port Geographe Action Group Peter Maccora said the current trigger levels of 60,000cu m would render an entire beach amenity unuseable and unsafe if the department waited to act until the sea wrack reached that level.

Last year, the department estimated 16,000cu m of seagrass was trapped before the City of Busselton intervened for safety reasons.

“The seagrass extended all the way down to Morgan Street — if that was only 16,000cu m then their trigger of 60,000cu m would extend this all the way to Ford Road,” Mr Maccora said.

“This is ridiculous that as a result of spending $28 million to reconfigure the Port Geographe groynes we have achieved nothing.”

DoT coastal infrastructure general manager Steve Jenkins said the department was satisfied the current environmental monitoring and management plan thresholds were “appropriate” and said there were no plans to remove seagrass wrack unless it exceeded these thresholds.

He said that if the thresholds of wrack were exceeded, contingency works would be required but that at present, wrack volumes and odour were under the thresholds.

Despite questions from the Times, the department would not be drawn on whether it would consider reducing trigger levels.

Mr Maccora also expressed concerns at the date the trigger volumes were assessed, December 1, which he said meant there were limited options to do anything so late in the season to provide a safe and useable amenity for summer.

The department said it continued to regularly monitor the coast through site inspections, surveying and photography.

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