Aerial view shows catchment issues

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council staff escorted Environmental Protection Authority board members on an aerial tour recently.
Peel-Harvey Catchment Council staff escorted Environmental Protection Authority board members on an aerial tour recently.

The flight was part of a visit organised by the EPA, with the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC), acting as guides.

The PHCC is the community based organisation responsible for the natural resource management of the catchment.

PHCC chairwoman Jan Star said as part of the Strategic Assessment for the Perth and Peel Region (SAPPR), the EPA board was interested in observing the issues the catchment is facing to help inform how to manage population growth and protect the environment as the economic base of thes region.

�It gave them a bird�s eye view of the complexities of our waterways that cannot be appreciated from the ground,� she said.

�On-ground inspections included Lake Goegrup, Austin Cove, Ravenswood, the Murray River, and the Peel Main Drain.

�We also visited the C-Wise facility at Nambeelup and discussed opportunities for closed loop food production.

�There are good opportunities for us to enable sound planning and protection of our environmental values, which underpin why we live and recreate in the Peel-Harvey, but we can�t take a business-as-usual approach.

�I think everyone appreciated this and hence the focus on the Peel-Harvey through the SAPPR process.�

Ms Star said science showed our waterways were in a bad way.

�We can see some impacts; others are more subtle,� she said.

�With increased population will come increased pressures, we need to be clever about how and where we put people and services to support them.�

EPA chairman Paul Vogel said the site visit was an opportunity to get a first-hand look at the area and provide the EPA with an understanding of the issues and pressures facing the Peel-Harvey system.