MLAs clash over estuary

It follows after Mr Cowper called on Mr Templeman to apologise for his role in disbanding Peel Inlet Management Authority and ‘endorsing endless waterways dredging during his term as Environment Minister’.

Mr Cowper said Mr Templeman was claiming to be a lone voice in fighting the development and in forming a new ‘authority’ to ‘save’ the Peel Estuary.

‘He disbanded PIMA as an autonomous, properly resourced local authority, replacing it with a fragmented chain of bureaucratic command, with no money and no direction,’ he said.

Mr Templeman said he welcomed Mr Cowper’s outburst and rejected his ‘lame’ accusations regarding PIMA.

‘Despite the efforts of many good people, PIMA never had the powers it needed to influence developments like Point Grey,” he said.

‘WA Labor’s plan of establishing a Peel Waterways Trust will have the teeth to oversee the health and well-being of the waterway.

‘It is Mr Cowper who will have to apologise to future generations for failing to stand up against unsustainable developments like Point Grey and his development-at-all costs attitude to the Peel Region.

‘I will keep speaking out so people know where I stand on these issues. Mr Cowper and (Dawesville MLA) Dr Hames have stayed silent.’

Mr Cowper said he supported the Shire of Murray in its approval of the development because the area was integral to future development of the region.

‘Black sludge is a problem common not just to Point Grey, but to the entire Peel/Harvey estuary and Murray, Serpentine and Harvey river systems,” he said.

‘Yet it seems that as far as the Member for Mandurah is concerned, it is OK to continue regular dredging in his electorate, but not anywhere else in the waterways of the Murray Wellington or Dawesville electorates.’

Mr Templeman said he did indeed feel like a lone voice.

‘I’m the one who turns up at community rallies, writes my own submissions to various agencies and raised the matter in Parliament,” he said. ‘I won’t stop ensuring the health and well-being of the estuary is a priority.”