City of Bayswater and Vincent top Annual Nutrient Survey results for water and fertiliser management

Wayne Peace (Irrigation Technical Officer, City of Bayswater) and Rod Strang (Manager, Parks and Gardens, City of Bayswater). Picture: David Baylis
Wayne Peace (Irrigation Technical Officer, City of Bayswater) and Rod Strang (Manager, Parks and Gardens, City of Bayswater). Picture: David Baylis

THE CITIES of Bayswater, Stirling and Swan will be improving on their nutrient management practices at parks and reserves, in light of recent results from an annual survey.

The local governments participated in the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare’s Annual Nutrient Survey for Local Government Authorities and received score cards for its practices in different categories.

Categories include fertiliser applications, nutrient management, water quality monitoring and development control – all associated with the goal of improving the health of the Swan and Canning Rivers.

Following the results, each local government was given recommendations on how they can improve on water and fertiliser use and management.

According to results released in late December, Bayswater and Vincent recorded the highest score of 72 per cent for best practice management of nutrients and an above average level of best management practices achieved.

Stirling recorded 63 per cent (above average) while Swan recorded 54 per cent (average).

Bayswater Deputy Mayor Chris Cornish said the City was proud of its achievement and was looking for ways to improve its water catchment management.

“We will be expanding our use of technology to manage water and fertiliser use at the City’s parks and reserves, ensuring we’re not using too much of either,” he said.

“We recognise that none of our efforts exist in isolation, so we will continue our comprehensive approach to water catchment management through the Bayswater Brook Catchment Management Project.”

Despite supporting the survey’s intent, Stirling parks and sustainability manager Ian Hunter said the 2018 scorecard “understated” its current practices such as fertiliser use in foreshore areas and already having a wetland water quality sampling and analysis programme.

Mr Hunter said the City would use 2019 to focus on fertiliser applications, regulation of land use activities, tree planting and revegetation of public education and water quality monitoring.

While Swan covered the largest area (1004 sq m) in the Perth metropolitan area, chief executive Mike Foley said the City would utilise the report’s recommendations.

“The City has commenced implementation of the City’s Tree Guidelines, which is similar in intent to a Local Plants Policy, has recently been updated to detail acceptable native and exotic tree species,” he said.

“All new deciduous trees are to be planted at least 100m from any drainage, swale, natural water way and wetland.

“City staff will review the designs of new parks to ensure turf areas have adequate buffers and setbacks from waterways and wetland areas to minimise and mitigate fertiliser run off.

“A particular focus is on irrigation lakes, to ensure water used to irrigate City parks is clean, safe and suitable for irrigation.”

Overall best management practice scores:

-City of Armadale: Overall best management practice score of 52% and an overall average level of best management practices achieved

-City of Bayswater: 72 % (tied 1st), above average

-City of Belmont: 62% , above average

-Town of Cambridge: 55%, average

-City of Canning: 63%, above average

-Town of Claremont: 47%, average

-City of Cockburn: 61%, above average

-Town of Cottesloe: 37%, below average

-City of Joondalup: 44% , average

-City of Kalamunda: 51%, average

-City of Kwinana: 60%, average

-City of Mandurah: 55%, average

-City of Melville: 57%, average

-City of Nedlands: 43%, average

-City of Perth: 44%, average

-City of Rockingham: 65%, above average

-City of South Perth: 64%, above average

-City of Stirling: 63%, above average

-City of Subiaco: 57%, average

-City of Swan: 54%, average

-Town of Victoria Park: 49%, average

-City of Vincent: 72%, above average (tied 1st)