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.


E.P.A Holds Off Sandbar Opening
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.

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 drying climate.

By Dave Rushton (Department of Water).
QUICK CONTACT DETAILS

Denmark Office
Craig Carter   Ph 98482955
[email protected]

Mt Barker Office
Lynn Heppell   Ph 98512697
[email protected]

Website:
www.wicc.southcoastwa.org.au

Financial assistance:
helping you farm for tomorrow

Through the Wilson Inlet Nutrient Reduction Action Plan we can help you build your farm to be more environmentally responsible.

Waterway protection

  • 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 watering point

  • Vegetated buffers
    $450/ha to provide bank stabilisation, nutrient removal and wildlife habitat.

Production

  • Deep Rooted Perennial Pastures
    $60 per hectare is available to help establish suitable deep rooted perennial pasture species.

  • 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.

The WINRAP is funded via the South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc,
through the Australian and State Government support of the Natural Heritage Trust and National Action Plan