Hon Mia Davies MLA

Hon Mia Davies MLA

Former Minister for Water; Sport and Recreation; Forestry

    New dairy projects to improve Vasse waterways

    13/03/2015 12:00 AM
     
    • Partnerships to reduce nutrient loading in the Vasse Geographe catchment
    • State Government working with the dairy industry to achieve best practice
    • Another step in the Government's Vasse-Wonnerup action plan 
    New partnership programs between the dairy industry, the State Government and community organisation Geographe Catchment Council (GeoCatch) will help improve the Vasse Geographe waterways by targeting nutrient loading in the catchment.
     
    Water Minister Mia Davies recently signed two new partnership projects and said the projects were an example of the Government working to implement the Vasse Geographe strategy.
     
    "There are more than 40 dairy farms in operation in the Geographe catchment and they are a valued source of our high-quality fresh milk, they generate jobs and contribute millions of dollars to the local economy," Ms Davies said.
     
    "But nutrient run-off from paddocks and dairy effluent are some of the main contributors of nitrogen and phosphorus in local waterways.  These agreements will be vital in reducing nutrient loading in the catchment from the dairy industry and help improve our waterways."
     
    The first project will pilot the dairy industry's national nutrient management framework Fert$mart program in WA on at least six dairy farms in the Geographe catchment.
     
    Through the second project, Western Dairy and GeoCatch will review dairy effluent systems against the Code of Practice for Dairy Shed Effluent for Western Australia developed in 2012.
     
    The review will provide a benchmark to assess past effluent management projects and to inform future investment by dairy farmers in effluent system upgrades.
     
    These projects are important parts of the Government's action plan for Vasse-Wonnerup launched last year, which also included $200,000 to GeoCatch to carry out this work.
     
    The Vasse Taskforce, chaired by the Minister, met for the second time last week.  The Department of Water updated the taskforce on the first stage of a feasibility study into re-connecting parts of the Vasse's waterways to improve water quality outcomes. The taskforce is scheduled to meet again in June 2015.
     
    "The department has modelled where the water in this system moves under a range of rainfall scenarios and the next stage is to establish how re-connecting parts of the waterways would influence the water quality of the estuary and wetlands," Ms Davies said.
     
          Fact File
    • The Fert$mart pilot is a partnership between the State Government, GeoCatch and Western Dairy and is funded by the State Government's NRM Community Grants program, GeoCatch and Dairy Australia
    • The Vasse Taskforce, formed in October 2014, brings stakeholders together to oversee the long-term management of water quality in the Vasse-Wonnerup Estuary  
    Minister's office - 6552 5500