Peel-Harvey Catchment Council welcomes government funding to restore Mandurah waterways

Good news: The Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet will share in $25 million over the next four years as part of a state government cash boost. Photo: Supplied.
Good news: The Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet will share in $25 million over the next four years as part of a state government cash boost. Photo: Supplied.

The Mandurah Estuary and Peel Inlet are set to benefit from a state government funding package aimed at restoring and managing regional waterways.

The Peel region will share in $25 million over the next four years, alongside the South West and Great Southern regions.

Healthy Estuaries WA will be awarded the cash injection as they expand on the previous work started under the Regional Estuaries Initiative and Revitalising Geographe Waterways projects.

The Mandurah Mail has previously reported on the declining health of the rivers in the Peel region.

Previous assessments from the 1990s have revealed, of more than 4000 kilometres of waterways throughout the Swan Coastal Plain, only about one per cent is in "near pristine condition".

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC) has been consulted on the Healthy Estuaries program, which is a collaborative partnership.

Cause for concern: The Mandurah Mail has previously reported on the declining health of the rivers in the Peel region. Photo: File Image.

Cause for concern: The Mandurah Mail has previously reported on the declining health of the rivers in the Peel region. Photo: File Image.

PHCC chair Caroline Knight welcomed the announcement.

"This brings a greater focus and recognition to the state of our estuaries and provides a collaborative framework for us to work together to restore the health of our estuaries," she said.

"Everyone has to play their part. There is a lot to be done, it has to be collaborative.

"We are delivering projects on behalf of all three levels of government as well as industry, with community playing a vital, and often undervalued, role.

"The Peel-Harvey Estuary is worth millions to our economy, we have to get it healthy again."

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Ms Knight said the PHCC was not "specifically" aware of what the money might be used for but had a range of ideas to propose.

"We are in discussions and we believe there will be a continuation of soil testing and advice to farmers to help them maintain productivity and reduce nutrients going into the system," she said.

"This has been very popular in the Peel-Harvey and our farmers are welcoming the support.

"We understand there will be a focus on traditional Landcare type works on our rivers and streams with things like fencing to exclude stock from the watercourses and a focus on revegetation works."

Helping hand: The team at PHCC has worked tirelessly to manage and restore the health of local waterways. Photo: Supplied.

Helping hand: The team at PHCC has worked tirelessly to manage and restore the health of local waterways. Photo: Supplied.

The $25 million boost is part of a larger investment in critical regional programs across the state, totaling more than $111 million, announced last week.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said funding for the next four years had been locked in ahead of the upcoming budget.

"This $111 million investment provides security of funding for key regional programs and projects spanning arts, environment, health, sport and more," she said.

Premier Mark McGowan said details on additional regional programs and projects that have secured funding would be released in coming weeks.

"As we look to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important that we get on with delivering the programs and projects that matter to regional West Australians," he said.

"This Royalties for Regions investment will ensure that vital programs can continue to be delivered across regional WA."