Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    State Environmental Protection Policy - Cockburn Sound

    20/01/2005 10:20 AM

    Environment Minister Judy Edwards today released a new policy to protect the environmental values of Cockburn Sound and manage the area’s multiple uses and natural resources.

    Dr Edwards said the State Environmental Policy was built on an early warning system, which would prevent major impacts that could threaten the social and environmental values of the sound.

    “The new policy would provide stringent requirements on all industries discharging into the sound, including the new desalination plant,” she said.

    “It sets in place a range of important environmental criteria for measurement, such as salinity levels and dissolved oxygen, which are relevant for managing any saline discharge from the plant.

    “The use of low level triggers for investigation and management action will ensure there is no build up of salt or deoxygenation in the sound.

    “Licence conditions for industry discharging into the sound would be amended to reflect this new policy. In addition, the Cockburn Sound Management Council would report annually on the ‘State of Cockburn Sound’, and this would be tabled in Parliament.”

    An environmental management plan for Cockburn Sound and its catchment, prepared by the Cockburn Sound Management Council, outlines on-ground actions for implementing the policy, and establishes the particular roles and responsibilities of managers and user groups.

    Two technical documents have been published by the Environmental Protection Authority on the plan: the Environmental Quality Criteria Reference Document for Cockburn Sound (2003-2004), and the Manual of Standard Operating Procedures for Environmental Monitoring against the Cockburn Sound Environmental Quality Criteria (2003-2004).

    All four documents are available on the Department of Environment’s website at http://policy.environment.wa.gov.au

    Minister's office: 9220 5050