Parties make pitch to protect estuary

Liberal Party Mandurah candidate Tony Solin and Dawesville MLA Kim Hames.
Liberal Party Mandurah candidate Tony Solin and Dawesville MLA Kim Hames.

With that in mind, a Liberal Government would establish a Peel-Harvey Estuary management committee consisting of government departments, local government representatives and local environmental groups.

Dr Hames said the proposal put day-to-day management in the hands of the community.

The proposed management group would include agencies such as the departments of Planning, Water, Environment and Conservation, Food and Agriculture, along with the Environmental Protection Authority, Peel Development Commission, local government and groups such as Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.

‘It’s a grass roots model that engages the community,” Dr Hames said.

The Liberal Party would also commit $400,000 to complement scientific efforts to be administered by the committee and provide administrative support through Peel Development Commission.

But Mandurah MLA David Templeman said it was a weak effort to protect the region’s most important asset.

He said the Peel waterways should have the same protection as the Swan and Canning river systems.

‘That is why we propose a Bill of Parliament that statutorily protects the waterways and will direct all relevant agencies to deliver on their responsibilities,” he said.

‘Local organisations, particularly volunteer groups, need to have confidence that the Peel waterways will be protected into the future.’

Peel Harvey Catchment Centre chairman Jan Starr said the council welcomed forming a co-ordinating body to inform land use planning.

‘We have a precious asset here that needs co-ordinated action to prevent its collapse,” she said.