Cheryl Edwardes

Cheryl Edwardes


    Minister releases management plan for Rowles Lagoon.

    9/01/2001 4:19 PM

    Water-skiing will be allowed to continue on part of the popular Rowles Lagoon in the Goldfields under a new management plan released by Environment Minister Cheryl Edwardes.

    The plan, prepared by the Department of Conservation and Land Management on behalf of the Conservation Commission of WA, covers Rowles Lagoon Conservation Park and the Clear and Muddy Lakes Nature Reserves north of Coolgardie.

    The lakes are a ‘conservation island’ within the arid zone and provide habitat for more species of waterbirds than any other arid zone wetland south of the Kimberley.

    Forty-one species of waterbirds - including eight protected by international treaties - have been recorded on the lakes. Australia’s rarest waterfowl, the freckled duck, has twice been recorded breeding there.

    Mrs Edwardes, who released the final management plan today, said water-skiing on the lagoon would be allowed but there would be a heavy emphasis on self-management and education for power-boating enthusiasts.

    CALM would work with the local community and the Department of Transport to develop a voluntary code of conduct for powerboating and would closely monitor the impact of the activity on other visitors to the reserves as well as on the surrounding environment. The compatibility of powerboating and water-skiing with environmental values would be reviewed in 2005.

    The release of the final plan follows extensive consultation with local community groups in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. A draft plan was released in 1999 for public comment.

    CALM and the Commonwealth Government through the National Wetlands Program of the Natural Heritage Trust funded preparation of the plan.

    Rowles Lagoon is a semi-permanent fresh water lake - within a more extensive lake system network - 65km north of Coolgardie. It is popular with day-trippers, campers and water sport enthusiasts and is the only Goldfields lake with a gazetted water ski and jet ski area.

    Mrs Edwardes said although the area was popular for recreation, it also had important nature conservation values. The lake system was included in the Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia and was under consideration for listing on the Register of the National Estate.

    Key strategies in the plan are:
    • increase the size of the reserve through the addition of Canegrass Lagoon on the surrounding Credo pastoral station;
    • upgrade both reserves to ‘A’ Class status
    • restrict further recreational developments and commercial concessions to Rowles Lagoon Conservation Park;
    • develop an inter-agency management agreement for the management of activities within the lake system and the catchment area;
    • undertake feral animal and weed control;
    • assess mining and exploration within the wetlands’ catchment for their potential impact on the ecological and hydrological processes of the system;
    • provide facilities for camping and day-use visits and for passive activities such as bird watching; and -
    • develop a program to monitor the impacts and pressures on the reserve and wetland system.

    Copies of the plan are available from CALM’s Kensington Headquarters and from the Department’s Goldfields Regional Office in Kalgoorlie.

    Media contacts:
    Steve Manchee (Minister) on 9421 7777;
    Ian Kealley (CALM) on 9021 2677