Light Industry Program set up to check contaminants running into Swan and Canning rivers


The State Government has carried out more than 550 inspections as part of the Light Industry Program.
The State Government has carried out more than 550 inspections as part of the Light Industry Program.

A NEW program has been set up in order to reduce the risk of contaminants finding their way into the Swan and Canning rivers.

The State Government has carried out 552 inspections of 370 premises and 15 people have been issued an environmental field report.

The Light Industry Program has seen the Government partner with local government authorities to help businesses improve environmental management to protect Perth’s rivers.

The inspections of automotive workshops, wreckers’ yards and manufacturers involved speaking with the businesses and walking around their premises to pointing out issues or concerns.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the Government had received strong participation from the Town of Bassendean and cities of Bayswater, Belmont, Canning, Gosnells, Swan and Melville, with all committing an officer to work with inspectors.

“The risk is that things like detergent or degreasers, if they are not used or disposed of correctly, they can make their way into stormwater drains and ultimately they can make their way into the Swan and Canning rivers,” Mr Jacob said.

“The main reason they started this program was to make sure we can improve the health of the Swan and Canning river system.

“We want to be friendly and engaging to businesses.”

Chief executive of the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare Brett Kuhlmann said unfortunately, industry had been a source of pollution events entering the Canning River.

“Maddington has had its fair share of incidents,” he said.

“A hydrocarbon track and trace program, conducted in a stormwater network within the Maddington industrial area, indicated that there was not an isolated point source for this pollutant.

“The diffuse source of the hydrocarbon highlighted the need for engagement to address the problem.”

City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said education remained the key to limiting environmental damage caused by contaminants such as metals, hydrocarbons, paints, degreasers and detergents entering waterways.

“The City actively supports the Light Industry Program and is providing an Environmental Health Officer to work alongside a Department of Environment Regulation Officer to audit and work with industrial businesses in Kenwick and Maddington to ensure contaminants are not intentionally or inadvertently entering the catchment through stormwater drains,” he said.

Since the Light Industry Program commenced in October 2015, Environmental Field Reports (EFR) have been issued in the following areas:

City of Bayswater – one EFR issued

City of Belmont – four EFRs issued

City of Canning – five EFRs issued

City of Melville – one EFR issued

City of Swan – four EFRs issued