La­goon health in fo­cus

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Aaron Cor­lett

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d463074

Sal­ter Point La­goon.

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