Growers voice concerns over water supplies

More than 100 farmers and residents attended the Gingin Water Group annual general meeting, at which attendees aired concerns about access rights to underground water.
More than 100 farmers and residents attended the Gingin Water Group annual general meeting, at which attendees aired concerns about access rights to underground water.

Access to water was a hot topic for more than 100 farmers and residents, who attended the annual general meeting of the Gingin Water Group (GWG) recently.

Group chairman David Rickson said community comment and discussion was ‘spirited but controlled’.

‘Many serious issues were openly and ” afterward ” privately canvassed, making it patently obvious the region’s water issues are wide ranging, potentially serious and of great concern to the community,’ he said.

‘The Gingin Groundwater Allocation Plan is two years overdue and must be released for public comment.

‘The State Government must then develop a Gingin Regional Water Strategy, to allow this small rural community to suitably address the water issues which are arising in a region sitting partly on top of the north Gnangara mound and beginning to hurt from the effects of servicing its adjacent neighbour ” the Perth Metropolitan area,’ he said.

Loose Leaf Lettuce Co managing director and president of Vegetables WA Maureen Dobra summarised Gingin’s increasing importance to WA as a major fruit and vegetable growing area. Several growers in the region are the largest of their type in the State.

Peter Davies, CEO of Image Resources, outlined his organisation’s plans to become a world-class minerals sands miner on its extensive tenements across the eastern Gingin region.

Local water borer of several decades George Grant presented his knowledge and interpretations, as did consultant geohydrologist Sam Burton.

Department of Water representatives invited to the meeting called at the last minute with an apology to say they were unable to attend.

The GWG will continue to communicate on behalf of farmers with the DOW and other Government bodies involved in the decision-making process regarding the local water cycle, Mr Rickson said.