An update from the WINRAP Project Officer: Craig Carter
Projects are progressing well with many due for
completion over summer. This will be followed by site
preparation ready for planting over 20 hectares of
plants next winter. The recent formation of a farmers
group at Youngs Siding has been met with
enthusiasm with 20 people having attended meetings.
The next meeting is planned for early February which
you are welcome to attend. Discussions are aimed at
highlighting funding available, current projects,
sustainable farming practices as well as being a great
place to swap ideas and gain knowledge from other
farmers and experts who can attend when requested.
Workshops are planned for next year with a tissue testing/pasture management
workshop and a fencing construction field day planned for February. As of
December 2007, WINRAP has seen funding allocated for 105km of fencing
waterways of which 60km have been completed. This includes funding for over 60
stock crossings, 50 watering points and 82 hectares of plants for revegetation.
Please contact us if you have any questions about funding or natural resource
management. Upper catchment landholders can contact Lynn Heppell at Mt
Barker. If you live between the catchment boundary and Walpole, please contact
Emanuel Ganser on 98482589.
The Water Corporation's proposal to
breach the Wilson Inlet sand bar on 8th October 2007 at approximately 0.8 metres Australian Height Datum (AHD) was
referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) by the Denmark
Environment Centre for consideration. Consequently, the EPA determined that the
likely environmental impacts of an opening at that level were sufficient enough to
warrant formal assessment under the provisions of the Environmental Protection
Act. This decision means that before breaching of the bar at less than 1.05m AHD,
Water Corporation must formally explain their proposal to the EPA. The decision
was largely based on consequences of the opening in October 2006 at similarly low
water levels, whereby there was insufficient scouring of the channel and the bar
closed within 2 months, although the opening was only really effective for 3 weeks.
This resulted in record low water levels over summer leading to, amongst other things, drying out of extensive seagrass habitat.
E.P.A Holds Off Sandbar Opening
The expected outcomes of the decision are that
inlet water levels should not be significantly
lowered over summer, apart from some minor
evaporation. With the first winter rains, levels
should rise to the preferred opening height of
1.1m AHD by about July. Historically, the inlet
should stay open for at least 6 months enabling
good water exchange between the inlet and the
ocean and marine/estuary fish recruitment.
Obviously there are issues (drainage/flooding) associated with the decision by EPA. Therefore it is important that all stakeholders,
including Department of Water, Shire of Denmark, Water Corporation and
community work closely together not only to resolve these issues for this year but
try to develop an appropriate management system for future openings. Ultimately, it
is highly likely this situation will change the way South Coast estuaries generally are
managed to deal with lower rainfall and decreased river flows in a continuing
By Dave Rushton (Department of Water).
QUICK CONTACT DETAILS
Craig Carter Ph 98482955
Mt Barker Office
Lynn Heppell Ph 98512697
helping you farm for tomorrow
Through the Wilson Inlet Nutrient
Reduction Action Plan we can help you
build your farm to be more
- Fencing of drains and creeks
Up to $2500/km in the priority sub-
catchments (Sleeman, Cuppup, Lake
Saide and Sunny Glenn) and up to
$2000/km in the rest of the catchment.
- Stock crossings & watering points
Up to $700 for a crossing and $300 for a
- Vegetated buffers
$450/ha to provide bank stabilisation,
nutrient removal and wildlife
- Deep Rooted Perennial Pastures
$60 per hectare is available to help
establish suitable deep rooted perennial
- Soil Testing
A 50% subsidy for soil testing is available.
Don't Guess...Soil Test
Point Source Nutrient Control
More intensive industries, such as dairies,
viticulture or intensive horticulture, often
need specialised assistance to help
reduce their nutrient export. Contact us to
talk about how we can help.
Who is involved in the action plan?
The success of the WINRAP relies on the cooperation of all of us who live or work in the catchment. However, the plan identifies a number
of key groups who have pledged their cooperation in implementing the Wilson Inlet Nutrient Reduction Action Plan:
Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee, Department of Water, Shire of Denmark, City of Albany, Shire of Plantagenet, Department of Agriculture and Food WA,
Fisheries WA, Water Corporation, Wilson Inlet Management Advisory Group.