Alannah MacTiernan

Alannah MacTiernan

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

Judy Edwards

Judy Edwards

Former Minister for the Environment; Science

    Framework ensures future of Busselton Wetlands

    24/10/2005 12:00 AM

    A final strategy to guide the sustainable land use, conservation and management of the Busselton Wetlands has been released by the Gallop Government.

    At today’s launch, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the strategy would help ensure the long-term protection and management of the wetlands.

    “As a chain of coastal wetlands of local, regional and international importance, good planning and management are needed to sustain their conservation values,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    “This will ensure the wetlands are suitably protected from urban expansion pressures and inappropriate agricultural practices.

    “The Busselton Wetlands Conservation Strategy is a balanced and integrated approach that will guide land use planning and management in the study area.

    “As one of the State’s fastest-growing centres, Busselton is experiencing a rapid population increase and resulting development pressure.

    “Sustainable agricultural land use that is beneficial to the wetlands will be promoted and continuation of existing broad-acre farming near the wetlands is supported - but further clearing of native vegetation for agricultural purposes is not.

    “An historic relationship exists between the wetlands and broad-acre grazing land.

    “The ongoing contribution of rural landowners is important in maintaining and enhancing the conservation values of the wetlands.”

    The planning process, which started in 1999, has included a comprehensive consultation program, especially with landowners, and the strategy addresses a number of the issues raised during community consultation.

    Dr Edwards said the majority of the wetlands area was listed under the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance - in recognition of the abundance of waterbirds and their importance for supporting internationally significant populations of the Black-winged Stilt and Red-necked Avocet.

    “The wetlands feature the largest regular breeding colony of Black Swan in Western Australia and are home to tens of thousands of waterbirds of many species,” Dr Edwards said.

    “The strategy is consistent with the responsible management of the natural environment and provides a framework for the preparation of a management plan for reserves associated with the wetlands.

    “The strategy is part of the Gallop Government’s commitment to protecting WA’s unique environment.

    “The Department of Conservation and Land Management will prepare the management plan following vesting with the Conservation Commission of the Crown Land containing the Vasse and Wonnerup estuaries.

    “A wetlands implementation steering committee is proposed to co-ordinate the implementation of the strategy and the promotion of positive actions.

    “It is envisaged a Friends of the Busselton Wetlands group will be established to assist in the study, care and promotion of the wetlands.

    “The plan is vital in helping protect our unique wetland environment.”

    The wetlands are an important component of the Geographe Bay catchment area and perform an important flood mitigation function for Busselton.

    A copy of the Busselton Wetlands Conservation Strategy is available on the WAPC internet site or by phoning 9264 7777.

    Minister for Planning and Infrastructure's office: 9213 6400
    Minister for the Environment's office: - 9220 5050