Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - FRONT PAGE -

CON­NECT­ING land man­agers to bet­ter pro­tect the coast­line has earned the South West and Peel Coastal Man­age­ment Group the Com­mu­nity Group Award at the WA Coastal Awards for Ex­cel­lence pre­sented last Tues­day.

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti pre­sented the awards in Perth to a num­ber of en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions for their work in pro­tect­ing and man­ag­ing the WA coast.

The main ini­tia­tive which earned the group its award was for 14 fo­rums held with lo­cal gov­ern­ments and coastal man­age­ment groups.

These in­cluded fo­rums in Man­durah and Bun­bury, both of which the coun­cils of Har­vey and Wa­roona at­tended.

Group pro­ject of­fi­cer Jo Lud­brook said the fo­rums served to iden­tify coastal man­age­ment projects, is­sues and pri­or­i­ties.

“The idea is to look for chal­lenges, is­sues and op­por­tu­ni­ties that are shared across those ar­eas,” Ms Lud­brook said.

“Is­sues don’t stop at lo­cal gov­ern­ment bor­ders.”

She said group pro­ject of­fi­cers helped re­search with a wider scope and from other re­gions, pro­vided guid­ance through­out projects and helped with grant ap­pli­ca­tions.

Ms Lud­brook said the orig­i­nal ap­proach of the group had been purely the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and con­ser­va­tion of coastal ar­eas, but had moved into a role bal­anc­ing the pro­tec­tion of these ar­eas with pub­lic ac­cess and us­age.

“More and more we are recog­nis­ing the com­pet­ing uses of the coast, en­croach­ing in­fra­struc­ture and hu­man im­pacts along the coast,” she said.

The group was also awarded a spe­cial com­men­da­tion in the Coastal Cham­pion award for its role in re­gional lead­er­ship and co­or­di­na­tion role as well as pro­vid­ing a fo­rum to share in­for­ma­tion and strengthen re­la­tion­ships.

South West Catch­ments Coun­cil was also awarded a spe­cial com­men­da­tion in the Coastal Plan­ning sec­tion for its strate­gic re­gional coastal plan for man­ag­ing coastal ar­eas be­tween Bin­ningup and Walpole.

Is­sues don’t stop at lo­cal gov­ern­ment bor­ders. - Jo Lud­brook

South West and Peel Coastal Man­age­ment Group sec­re­tary Peter East­lake ac­cepts the Com­mu­nity Group Award and spe­cial com­men­da­tion from Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti.

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