Wracked by weed problem

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
The accumulated sea wrack at Western Beach
Camera IconThe accumulated sea wrack at Western Beach Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

Port Geographe residents have threatened a class action against the Department of Transport, demanding a long-term solution for the accumulation of seagrass wrack on Western Beach, pictured.

The Department announced on Wednesday earthmoving equipment would remove the material from Port Geographe and work began on Friday to restore the sandy shore of Western Beach.

However, Port Geographe resident Peter Maccora said the removal measures were inadequate.

He said City of Busselton Special Area rates of 22 per cent for Port Geographe should be withheld until Western Beach was cleared.

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“The Department of Transport should be ashamed at their feeble attempt to try and get themselves out of the mess they have created,” he said,

“Clearly they have no understanding, consideration or appreciation of what the residents of Port Geographe have to contend with.”

A special meeting to discuss the management of Port Geographe was held on Thursday with representatives from the Department, the City of Busselton and residents resulting in immediate work undertaken on Western Beach with a commitment to a longer-term investigation.

Eathmoving equipment has begun moving the wrack from Western beach
Camera IconEathmoving equipment has begun moving the wrack from Western beach Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

DoT Coastal Facilities director Donna West said the earthmoving work was additional to the West-ern Beach maintenance campaign.

“It’s anticipated the marina dredging will be completed in the next few weeks,” she said.

Shadow minister for transport and Vasse MLA Libby Mettam will present a petition with more than 300 signatures to Parliament next week asking the Government to implement measures that ensure wrack is minimised in future.

Ms Mettam said earthmoving work fell short of assuring residents of a “permanent or meaningful solution.”

on Friday machinery broke down the high compacted face of the winter seagrass wrack encouraging the dispersal, by westerly weather conditions over the weekend, of accumulated material.

DoT will start the process of pushing the wrack to the back of the beach on Monday to provide greater access to the shoreline and improved beach amenity for the community.

“The Department of Transport have now undertaken to reconvene a working group with some of the coastal engineers including UWA Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi regarding a long-term plan, which is positive,” Ms Mettam said.

“This should include rethinking the Department of Transport’s current management plan for the area, and what the trigger point is for further works.”

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