Group fights for river
A new group lobbying against the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme as a way to protect the environment has been established.
Save Our Donnelly River Association held its first South West meeting on Saturday and 40 people attended — four times as many people that attended the first meeting in Fremantle.
Association president Anton Troy said the group’s aim was to assist in the protection, preservation and restoration of the Donnelly River ecosystem.
“Our first main fight is with the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme and there is plenty of scope afterwards to move forward onto other aspects of protecting the Donnelly River,” he said.
After the inaugural meeting in Fremantle on June 20, the executive committee decided to hold its first South West meeting to keep locals informed.
“It was essential to us we got local people involved,” Mr Troy said.
“It went exceedingly well, we have some really good questions and it was all very organic, I think people came away from it with more information.
“We also gained a lot of membership for the association.”
Mr Troy also said the association was working to hold a public forum in early August and was hoping to invite the SFIS and Manjimup Shire Council.
“We are a different group than Don’t Dam the Donnelly,” he said.
“They are right across the water trading issue, while we are focused on the environment.
“We don’t want to see the same thing as what happened to the Murray-Darling.”
One environmental aspect the association was looking to promote was the Stewart Tree, which is at the edge of the proposed dam site in Record Brook.
“It’s named after Don Stewart, who came up with the idea of using karri trees as fire lookouts,” Mr Troy said.
“Speaking to the visitor centre, they have had an increase of inquiries about the Stewart Tree since the weekend, so we’ve had an unintentional impact there.”