A draft policy addressing the use, protection and improvement of the State’s waterways was released for public comment today by Water Resources Minister Dr Kim Hames.
The Minister said the draft Waterways WA policy explained what could be done to look after Western Australia’s most vital natural assets - our rivers and estuaries.
“Many of us are aware of the declining health of Western Australia’s waterways,” Dr Hames said.
“However, rather than just accepting this, many Western Australians have wholeheartedly taken up the challenge to save our rivers.
“Hundreds of community groups across the State contribute countless hours of their volunteer time.
“The draft Waterways WA policy captures the ideals of the Western Australians who give their time and energy to protect and enhance our waterways.
“The policy defines the principles of good waterways management that are often applied in practice but not formally recognised.
“It sets objectives and provides the foundation for the development of a State-wide strategy.”
The policy is the result of a partnership agreement between the State and Commonwealth Governments, through the National Rivercare Program.
In addition to the policy, this agreement provides funding to local community groups for waterways planning, support and on-ground works.
Dr Hames said this policy emphasised the need for the Water and Rivers Commission to work in partnership with the community.
“One example of this is the plan to dovetail the State-wide waterways strategy with regional strategies already being produced by natural resource management groups in the community,” he said.
“I encourage anyone who is involved with, or passionate about, waterways to read this document and become involved in the consultation process being run by the Water and Rivers Commission.”
The commission is eager to hear from any community member or group who would like their input to be considered in the preparation of the final Waterways WA policy statement.
For copies of the draft Waterways WA Policy and public submission forms, please contact Beth Hughes at the Water and Rivers Commission on 9278 0375.
The public comment period closes on December 31.
Sandy Gater, Minister’s office: 9424 7455
Water and Rivers Commission: Deborah Rohan, 9278 0720