Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Release of three-year business plan for the Lower Gascoyne

    21/08/2000 11:57 AM

    A three-year business plan to manage $2 million spending on economic, social and environmental issues in the Lower Gascoyne was released today by Water Resources Minister Dr Kim Hames.

    The Lower Gascoyne Management Strategy Local Implementation Committee Business Plan addresses a range of issues, many of which involve water resources and affect the region’s major industries.

    In Carnarvon for a regional Cabinet meeting today, Dr Hames said that the plan reflected the importance that the local community placed on the availability and management of water resources and sustainable use of the environment.

    “The plan provides an on-going framework for the implementation of practical strategies based on community goals,” the Minister said.

    “It has been prepared and funded in response to local needs to protect existing assets including the environment, to restructure existing operations to provide greater returns and to explore opportunities for new developments.”

    The Minister has secured funding of more than $2 million to implement the plan, of which $804,500 is for projects scheduled to start in 2000-2001.

    These funds will be distributed by the Water and Rivers Commission - lead agency for implementation of the plan - to the various projects, many of which will be undertaken by other Government agencies, the local shire, the Gascoyne Development Commission and community groups.

    Dr Hames said he commended the many agencies and community representatives involved in developing and implementing the business plan, which had the potential to substantially boost future growth within the lower Gascoyne region.

    “The local community has been involved in developing this plan since the outset, and their continued support and action will be vital to its success,” he said.

    The plan addresses five major issues - flood protection; management of groundwater aquifers to provide secure water supplies; the continued economic success and development of the horticultural industry; weed, rubbish and erosion control to help maintain the viability of local industry; and the critical need to gain community recognition and support of the strategy.

    To address these issues the plan currently lists 38 separate projects, 20 of which are scheduled for this financial year, and provides details of the project managers, funding sources, milestones, timelines and expected outcomes.

    Some of the key projects for 2000-2001 include:
    • $200,000 for a flood management study and floodplain management plan for Carnarvon, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministerial Floodplain Taskforce;
    • $100,000 to clear and extend natural floodways on the river delta and enhance groundcover in the floodway to improve natural flood drainage systems;
    • $50,000 for a horticulture marketing facilitator to develop a marketing strategy aimed at developing new and expanded markets for a greater and more consistent supply of high quality Carnarvon produce;
    • $12,000 to trial removal of Tamarisk Trees, poisoning a large section of Tamarisk near the river mouth and replacing with salt tolerant trees;
    • $20,000 to repair, stabilise and maintain river barrages that direct high flow velocities into the main river channel, helping to prevent erosion on the south bank in the vicinity of Babbage Island;
    • $20,000 for a ‘Positive Carnarvon’ campaign to maintain local appreciation of and confidence in the economy and social climate of the town through media promotion, private sector advertising and community involvement, particularly schools;
    • $15,000 for a review of the potential for using river flow to artificially recharge deep aquifers, increasing the availability of groundwater supply;
    • $35,000 to develop a river action plan for the Lower Gascoyne addressing erosion, sedimentation, weed invasion, rubbish removal, heritage, amenity and revegetation;
    • $30,000 to identify the environmental values of Basins A to L, and the impact of water extraction on these values, so those environmental water requirements can be formulated for inclusion in an allocation plan for the Lower Gascoyne Region: and -
    • $50,000 to prepare a preliminary allocation plan setting out provisional sustainable limits, allocation rules and monitoring requirements for the Lower Gascoyne region.

    Funding will in some cases be supplemented by contributions from other agencies - providing, for example, an additional $107,300 in 2000-2001.

    A local implementation committee, reporting to the Lower Gascoyne Water Resources Development Steering Committee established by Dr Hames in August 1999, prepared the business plan.

    Copies of the business plan are available from Paul Rosair at the Water and Rivers Commission on telephone 9278 0302.

    Media contacts:
    Sandy Gater, Minister Hames office, 9424 7455
    Deborah Rohan, Water and Rivers Commission, 9278 0720