The McGowan Government is extending an award-winning water improvement program with $1.6 million allocated in the upcoming State Budget.
The money is earmarked for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality, waterway health and better manage the Geographe waterways.
The program, which is due to finish its four-year, State-funded run in June, has been extended for a further year to ensure water quality improvements and nutrient reductions in the Geographe catchment can continue under the oversight of the interagency Vasse Taskforce.
Since the inception of the program in 2015, there has been a significant reduction in nutrients (phosphorous and/or nitrogen) in 75 per cent of Geographe waterways. Improved fertiliser management over the last 10 years has also seen 2,000 kilograms a year of less phosphorous entering the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and Geographe Bay.
This additional funding will add value to the existing program through a range of actions which will continue the substantial improvements made to the Geographe catchment while raising awareness and information to the community on water quality issues and progress.
The Revitalising Geographe Waterways program – 2018 WA Water Association Award winners in the Program Innovation category – is supported by the State Government’s $20 million Regional Estuaries Initiative.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“This Budget funding allows for the continued monitoring of the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and priority waterways – crucial to identifying key ecosystem features and threats – so we can target our actions and resources to protect and improve waterway health and water quality.
“The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways and has representation from State and local governments, water service providers and catchment groups. I would like to thank Chair Sally Talbot and all taskforce members for their ongoing commitment and hard work in support of the program.
“Our waterways have important aquatic values, some providing habitat for threatened and priority species, and are of high value to both the local community and visitors.
“This project is an example of how the McGowan Government is working with partner agencies and local governments to improve water quality, waterway health and the management of Geographe waterways.”