Logue Brook Dam in Western Australia’s South-West will be converted from a recreation facility to a source for drinking water.
Water Resources Minister John Kobelke said the decision was part of a $16million plan to develop the water drinking resource, plan for future sporting development in the South-West and open Lake Kepwari near Collie for recreational use.
Mr Kobelke said Logue Brook Dam, near Harvey, would be used to provide 5.3 billion litres of water for the water grid annually from 2010.
“The Government recognises Logue Brook offers recreational opportunities for the community, but it is also an important water resource for drinking,” he said.
“The water from Logue Brook Dam is the final stage of the 17.1 billion litre water trade between Harvey Water and the Water Corporation. This means that the trade will provide, annually, well over one third of the water produced each year by the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant.”
Mr Kobelke said that in recognition of the loss of Logue Brook as a recreation facility from May 2008, the Water Corporation would create a $10million trust account that would be used to develop alternative recreation facilities in the South-West.
He said that the Water Corporation would also immediately start negotiations with businesses directly affected by this decision.
Mr Kobelke said that as a first step in the new recreational developments, the State Government would spend $3.29million, in addition to the $10million, to enable Lake Kepwari, near Collie, to be opened as a public recreation area next year.
Works at the lake would include barbecue and picnic areas, jetty pontoon facilities, access roads, car parks and water and power infrastructure.
“While we strive to protect and develop water sources, it has to be balanced with providing adequate public recreational areas,” Mr Kobelke said.
“By developing Lake Kepwari as a recreational facility, we are achieving that balance.”
South-West Minister Mark McGowan said opening up Lake Kepwari for recreation would bring social and economic benefits for the Collie community.
“This project has the potential to attract thousands of visitors from Perth, Peel, the South-West, Great Southern and Wheatbelt to the area,” Mr McGowan said.
“Visitors will seek out services provided by the retail, hospitality and tourism industries, which will lead to positive flow-on effects for local business.
“This is an exciting new era for Collie that will provide benefits to the local community for years to come.”
The funding would include $1.02million for planning and reviewing the project, which included $355,000 for the Department of Environment to manage the lake.
The Department of Sport and Recreation would begin a ‘South-West recreational master plan’ to provide policy direction and clear user guidelines for community access and recreational activities in and around water bodies in the South-West region.
The Department would conduct public consultation to help decide where the $10million trust fund monies would be spent.
Mr Kobelke also confirmed tougher sprinkler regimes would not be introduced this summer in Perth.
The Minister said that despite continuing low rainfall, Perth had the least severe garden watering regime of any major capital city in the nation.
“WA is in a relatively sound position on water availability because we planned ahead for the consequences of a drying climate,” he said.
Mr Kobelke said Perth people were each using an average of 17,000 litres per year less water at home than five years ago, but people still needed to remain vigilant.
Since late 2001, a two-day-week sprinkler roster and 9am to 6pm daytime sprinkler ban has applied to the 1.6 million users in the metro area. From October 1, 2007 water efficiency measures, including sprinkler rosters for all country towns, were introduced throughout WA.
Minister for Water Resources' office: 9213 6900
Minister for the South-West's office: 9222 9111