Lagoon health in focus
THE major political parties have weighed into the debate about the Salter Point Lagoon after residents raised concerns about the amount of algae on its surface.
After residents approached South Perth MLA John McGrath, Labor and the Greens have voiced their concerns .
The Gazette received a statement from Mr McGrath which said Environment Minister Albert Jacob asked the Department of Parks and Wildlife to meet on site with City of South Perth and local residents to discuss concerns over the lagoon.
Mr McGrath said he hoped a meeting would bring about a better understanding of the wellbeing of the lagoon.
South Perth Greens candidate Dr Mark Brogan said if the City and State Government had definitive scientific evidence that the current algal problem in the lagoon was seasonal and not indicative of decline in the health of the lagoon, then it should release the evidence it has to support the argument.
“If it doesn’t have this evidence, then it should commission a study,” he said.
“The more likely situation is that nutrient run-off is playing a role in the algal problem at Salter Point, amplifying seasonal effects as it has elsewhere in the Canning and Swan Rivers.
“If the science isn’t known, then a properly-funded study needs to be undertaken, rather than arrogantly dismissing resident concerns.”
Dr Brogan said the role of the State on the issue should not be understated.
“As Roe 8 shows, the current Minister cannot be trusted on wetlands management,” he said.
“It places no importance on preserving these precious places.
“We have around 10 per cent of the wetlands that once existed in Perth and what remains is degraded. The Greens are offering a genuine alternative to the major parties in planning for the future of South Perth.
“Restoring wetlands like the Salter Point Lagoon are part of our vision.”
South Perth Labor candidate Michael Voros said he believed it was appropriate for the City to work with State Government agencies to ensure the lagoon was properly managed as part of the broader river system.
“I am glad if the Department of Parks and Wildlife is coming to look at the issues, but it is a shame this State Government couldn't make that happen sooner,” he said.
“A McGowan Labor government will provide $300,000 per year to support Swan and Canning River restoration projects by community volunteer groups.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to support local and responsive work here and at other river locations in the South Perth electorate.
“As a former Aquinas College student, I’m familiar with the area and lagoon and as an experienced environment lawyer and volunteer I understand the importance of caring for our river areas.
Salter Point Lagoon.