We must pro­tect our river

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Letters - Jess Sully, Margaret River

We live in a mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­nity where peo­ple with dif­fer­ent back­grounds, race, eth­nic­ity, ed­u­ca­tion, val­ues, re­li­gion, spir­i­tual be­liefs, and so on, live to­gether in the one place. Our sense of place and what con­nects us to cer­tain places are also dif­fer­ent.

The Margaret River, or as the Wadandi call it, Wood­itchup, holds great significance and value for all who live here, and for vis­i­tors, whether some realise it or not.

The river holds dif­fer­ent val­ues for us all, but we would have to agree we love it. We want it to thrive, re­main healthy, and be pro­tected so the whole of the river will for­ever flow into the great ocean.

It sad­dened me to hear of the divi­sion be­tween cer­tain groups and peo­ple dur­ing the two-year is­sue of the (for­merly called) “win­ter di­ver­sion track”.

If there is to be a track, then what are the best ap­proaches?

I was hon­oured to be part of the work­ing group as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Margaret River Re­gional En­vi­ron­ment Cen­tre for what seems to be a so­lu­tion in which the im­por­tance of the Margaret River comes first.

Thank you to all mem­bers of the work­ing group for their ded­i­ca­tion and shar­ing their knowl­edge re­spect­fully.

This is in no way the end of the process. The work­ing group, un­der the di­rec­tion of Stu­art Hicks, proved the com­mu­nity can work to­gether.

Solutions and sug­ges­tions may not please ev­ery­one, but we must re­mem­ber there are a lot of peo­ple and groups with dif­fer­ent back­grounds and val­ues in­volved.

We, all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­spect the lo­cal water source (the river and the Yar­ra­gadee Aquifer that feeds it) that pro­vides us with life. We have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the water source from harm and we are all re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing its healthy flow.

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