Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Coalition stands on record of managing the Swan and Canning Rivers

    16/01/2001 6:09 PM

    Water Resources Minister Dr Kim Hames said today the Coalition Government had a record to be proud of in managing the Swan and Canning Rivers and Western Australian wetlands.

    “What Labor has promised is minuscule in the scheme of what the Coalition has done and will continue to do,” Dr Hames said.

    “In 1994 the Coalition Government launched and injected $6.4 million into the Swan-Canning Cleanup Program. In July last year it endorsed and committed $17.5 million to a five-year implementation program.

    “Early results from some of the leading edge research into effectively managing the river system are attracting international and Australia-wide attention.

    “Large-scale application of the modified clay Phoslock in the Canning River last year is producing positive results and is continuing to be monitored, along with oxygenation trials which have been extended this year into parts of the Swan River with a mobile oxygenation plant.

    “The Swan Canning Cleanup Program is about educating and involving the community at all levels as well as technological solutions to managing algal blooms and the river system.”

    A key plank of the Swan Canning Cleanup Action Plan is supporting integrated catchment management to reduce nutrient inputs.

    “Earlier this month the Coalition Government announced almost $400,000 in funding in the coming year to support 11 catchment groups,” Dr Hames said.

    “Under the program $200,000 is allocated to environmental restoration projects.

    “The Coalition has funded the development of statutory planning mechanisms to ensure development does not export excess nutrients to the rivers and farm planning to reduce nutrient export from farms.

    “The Ribbons of Blue program, which involves 6,500 people monitoring environmental water quality, continues to go from strength to strength.

    “In 1997 the State Wetlands Conservation Policy was released and actions required under the policy are being prioritised and progressed by all agencies involved.

    “A number of key initiatives are being finalised to ensure the protection of conservation category wetlands, such as ‘Bush Forever’ and an Environmental Protection Policy for the Swan Coastal Plain. There is already a wetland mapping database recording all wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain.

    “The Coalition has shown its tangible support to a healthy river system and the State’s wetlands and this will continue if re-elected.”

    Media contact: Sandy Gater 9424 7450