An investment plan for the Avon catchment will have direct benefits further downstream for the Swan River and river users.
The State Government and Australian Government have committed $14million this year to the Avon Catchment Council’s Natural Resource Management strategy through the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.
Environment Minister Judy Edwards said the key elements of the plan, to be released in Northam this morning, included dryland salinity, sustainable industries and biodiversity projects.
“The dryland salinity project includes the assessment and demonstration of engineering options to manage surface and groundwater,” Dr Edwards said.
“It also includes work to identify transport assets at risk from spreading salinity and help reduce nutrient loads going into the Swan-Canning Estuary.
“The main land use in the catchment area is rural enterprise and projects will be undertaken to improve the sustainability of these industries, including pest reduction and management, as well as best practice to reduce soil acidity and nutrient management from point source pollution and farm fertiliser run-off.
“This work will also help lower water table levels and improve plant growth.
“The natural resource management plan includes biodiversity work including improving the habitat for threatened species and aquatic ecosystems, a snapshot of areas in the Avon River Basin and best practice for fire management.”
The basin is home to the three sub-catchments of Avon, Lockhart and Yilgarn and the projects are aimed at having a direct beneficial impact in these areas, as well as downstream.
Dr Edwards said the plan built on the already considerable amount of work being undertaken by the Avon community in the protection and enhancement of the Avon River and catchment scale demonstrations for biodiversity enhancement and management.
She said the investment plan acknowledged that the good health of the Swan and Canning rivers systems also was reliant on nutrient outflow and salinity management upstream.
Minister's office: 9220 5050