Concerns at Trust future

Chris Tallentire.
Chris Tallentire.

Mr Tallentire, the director of the Conservation Council of WA from 2004 to 2008, claimed Trust staff would only be able to make ‘politically on-|message’ public statements, rather than issue advice independent of the Minister of the day.

‘The Government is ensuring it has control over what the Swan River Trust says,’ he said.

Mr Tallentire said the move would prevent the Trust from giving its opinion to the public about the consequences of activities such as the dredging for Elizabeth Quay.

‘Whenever we look at an estuary or river system around Australia that is under stress, or at similar systems around the world, scientists and policy-makers always recommend integrated catchment management,’ he said.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said while Trust staff would join the Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Trust’s board would remain.

He said the board would have the same ability to make public comments as it always had, though its main function had always been, and would continue to be, reporting to the Minister of the day.

‘Communications will operate in a similar manner to current arrangements’