Help boost river health

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

The City of Busselton is encouraging people who want to improve the health of the Vasse River to work with Geocatch, relevant agencies and established environmental groups rather than taking matters into their own hands.

The reminder comes after several people signalled online they were keen to take action to improve the river’s health, particularly in regard to the introduced Mexican waterlily.

City planning and development services director Paul Needham said the spread of the waterlily in the river was one of several issues identified as a priority at a recent community consultation. He said the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was investigating the issue and would provide options as part of the developing management plan for the Lower Vasse River.

“The management options will be assessed further to determine the broader impacts of the open water habitat requirements for birds and fish and a future Mexican waterlily treatment program,” he said.

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Vasse River Action Group member Vernon Bussell has taken part in a series of meetings held by Geocatch and the Department of Water to help formulate a plan to deal with ongoing degradation issues in the waterway.

He said while he and other members of the group were concerned about the ongoing condition of the lower Vasse River, he could see some improvement.

“I am concerned that progress in some areas has been been slower than I and many others would like but I realise that the problems have developed over a long period,” he said.

“They are not going to be solved without money and support from all involved.”

Mr Bussell said he shared community concerns about the takeover of the lower Vasse River by the invasive Mexican waterlily and encouraged private landowners to work with the City and the DoW to restore the river and associated estuaries to pristine condition.

A new Vasse Geographe Strategy website is now available at rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au.

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