Six regional estuary systems in the State's South-West and Great Southern will be targeted under a new $20 million Royalties for Regions program launched today in Peel by Water Minister Mia Davies and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.
"The Regional Estuaries Initiative is the biggest single investment the State Government has ever made in managing the health of Western Australia's regional estuaries," Ms Davies said.
"When added to the nearly $15 million commitment last year to the Vasse Geographe Strategy - and further co-investment from regional catchment groups, local governments and industry partners - this is a significant and historic investment into the health of our coastal waterways."
The initiative will fund a range of on-ground works such as soil and water testing, farm effluent management upgrades, fencing, revegetation and drainage site works, as well as new science and modelling, building regional capacity, local employment and training.
"Despite efforts by Government and the community to date, the combined pressures of reduced rainfall and flows, increasing population, urban development and the intensification of agriculture will continue to reduce water quality if left unchecked," she said.
"The science previously gathered by State agencies, catchment partners and community members had made the case for investment."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Regional Estuaries Initiative supported sustainable development and growth in regional areas and was complementary to the South-West and Great Southern regional blueprints.
"The aim of this program is to build regional waterways management capacity and put in place the technical and environmental solutions needed to ensure our estuaries can continue to support a wide range of businesses and recreational activities," Mr Redman said.
"Regional estuaries are assets that promote recreational activities and encourage tourism and it is significant that Royalties for Regions undertakes this investment to deliver tangible long-term benefits to regional communities."
The Regional Estuaries Initiative is a four-year $20 million Royalties for Regions program to restore the function and improve the health of south-west estuaries
Estuaries targeted are Peel-Harvey ($6 million), Leschenault ($7.5 million), Hardy Inlet ($2 million), Wilson Inlet ($2 million), Oyster Harbour ($2 million), Vasse Geographe ($500,000)
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700