Strategy for estuary launched

FEDERAL Environment Minister Greg Hunt launched the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council�s natural resource management strategy on Friday.

At the launch of Binjareb Boodja Landscapes 2025, council chairwoman Jan Star AM said the important strategy maps a framework and investment plan for natural resource management (NRM) in the catchment over the next decade.

�This will serve to attract investment funding into our region to protect our very special environment,� she said.

�In fact, the strategy will strengthen our current pending application to the Federal Government for $3.8 million because it reflects the essence of what our community is calling for.

�Binjareb Boodja Landscapes 2025 is the result of extensive and significant community consultations throughout the Peel-Harvey.�

Jan Star said the document, supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Australian Government, is a valuable blue print for environmental management developed in collaboration with the community, land managers, businesses, governments and their agencies.

�It will provide clear pathways for everyone living and working in the natural environment and in the social and economic areas that interact with and are dependent on it.�

�The strategy clearly reveals much needs to be done if we want to prevent another ecological collapse.

�We know continued population growth increases pressure on the health of the Peel-Harvey�s ecology, and that our environment is the economic foundation of the catchment.

�Currently, our environment is unstable and unsustainable: we need investment, and this is our community-owned strategy to effect this.�

Minister Hunt said the regional strategy brings together the most recent scientific and community knowledge about the natural and social values of the Peel-Harvey catchment.

�It identifies threats and proposes strategies to sustainably manage the region�s natural resources to 2025,� he said.

Canning MHR Don Randall said the strategy as an important planning tool for the catchment.

�The strategy identifies key priorities to preserve biodiversity in the catchment, including action to protect the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetlands which is an important area for waterbirds in south-western Australia,� he said.

�Importantly, it also highlights the need to provide more support for Aboriginal and landcare communities to improve their skills in natural resource management, as well as improving water quality in Peel-Harvey waterways.�