Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Minister for Water; Forestry; Youth

    New report highlights Wilson Inlet’s resilience

    18/02/2022 10:00 AM
     
    • New report gives insight into the condition and health of the Wilson Inlet
    • Report shows that Wilson Inlet has shown good resilience to nutrients entering from agricultural and residential land
    • The McGowan Government's $25 million Healthy Estuaries WA program is improving the health of at-risk estuaries in the South-West

    Water Minister Dave Kelly today released the Wilson Inlet Condition Report 2016-2019, which provides insight into the health and water quality of the inlet.

     

    Wilson Inlet is a seasonally open estuary located on the coast of the Great Southern region in the boodjar (country) of the Menang Noongar people.

     

    The inlet covers approximately 48 square kilometres and comprises a broad, shallow, flat-bottomed lagoon that lies behind coastal dunes.

     

    The report outlines the findings of a comprehensive Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) four-year monitoring program, which will be used to inform and improve the future management of the catchment and estuary.

     

    Monitoring water quality is important for tracking the impacts of climate change and land uses like farming and residential housing on estuary health.

     

    The findings of the monitoring program indicate that Wilson Inlet has shown good resilience to nutrients entering from agricultural and residential land.

     

    Data collected as part of the monitoring program showed that nutrient levels in Wilson Inlet have remained similar over the past 20 years, while there has been some decline in the extent of seagrass meadows in the inlet in the past 10 years.

     

    Environmental stress caused by reduced rainfall and rising sea levels as a result of climate change has also been observed within the estuary system.

     

    These valuable observations will assist DWER in adapting and improving future estuary management and decision making around the opening of the sandbar.

     

    Through the Healthy Estuaries WA program, DWER is partnering with the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, farmers and industry to implement important on-the-ground actions that protect and improve the health of the estuary.

     

    The McGowan Government is committed to protecting highly valued natural assets like Wilson Inlet that support a wide range of economic, recreational and environmental activities, and through the Healthy Estuaries WA program, has invested $25 million over four years to protect seven key estuaries, including Wilson Inlet, in the State's South-West.

     

    Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

     

    "The report gives us a better understanding of how we can better manage the Wilson Inlet.

     

    "The partnership with the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee allows us to implement on the ground actions to protect the ecosystem.

     

    "The Wilson Inlet supports a wide range of economic and recreational activities and it is encouraging to see that nutrient levels have remained stable over the past 20 years with monitoring and management."

     

    Comments attributed to Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:

     

    "The Wilson Inlet, or Nullaki, is an important water source that supports grazing, viticulture, horticulture, dairies and forestry in our community. It also supports a number of tourism and recreational activities, enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.

     

    "Whilst there has been some environmental stress caused by reduced rainfall and rising sea levels due to climate change, it is pleasing to see that that the Wilson Inlet has shown good resilience to nutrients entering from agricultural and residential land.

     

    "I want to commend the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee on their efforts to ensure the Wilson Inlet remains healthy.

     

    "This latest report, along with the McGowan Government's $25 million investment in estuaries across our region, will help improve the future management of the Wilson Inlet."

     

    Minister's office - 6552 6100