Group fights for river

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - TARI JEF­FERS

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.”

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