Plans to guide future waterway management released - RGW https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au Wed, 24 Jul 2019 04:58:41 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Plans to guide future waterway management released https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/plans-to-guide-future-waterway-management-released/ Wed, 24 Jul 2019 04:58:41 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6447 Three final plans that will help determine how our local wetlands and waterways are managed into the future have been completed and are now available online. The three plans were finalised in June and will guide future management actions to improve waterway health and water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Toby Inlet and the […]

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Three final plans that will help determine how our local wetlands and waterways are managed into the future have been completed and are now available online.

The three plans were finalised in June and will guide future management actions to improve waterway health and water quality in the Lower Vasse River, Toby Inlet and the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands.

Vasse Taskforce Chair and South West Region MLC Dr Sally Talbot says community input has been pivotal to the development of the plans.

“Input from the Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands Collaboration Group and Toby Inlet Community Advisory Group was central to the development of the plans” said Dr Talbot.

“Community consultation and feedback on the plans was invited and has helped inform the development of the objectives and management strategies”.

The City of Busselton led the development of the Lower Vasse River and Toby Inlet waterways management plans, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions led development of the Vasse Wonnerup Operational Plan.

Dr Talbot says she is pleased that some of the key actions outlined in the plans can get started in 2019-20 with the recent announcement of a 12 month extension to the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program.

“It is fantastic that the City of Busselton, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and partners will be able to get started straight away on implementing some of the actions from the management plans” said Dr Talbot.

The plans are part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program and have been informed by the extensive science program undertaken over the last three years.

To view the management plans visit the Revitalising Geographe Waterways website https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/

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Farmers Dig in for 40 km Fencing Effort https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/farmers-dig-in-for-40-km-fencing-effort/ Fri, 05 Jul 2019 01:30:09 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6434 Local farmers have given a boost to the health of Geographe waterways over the last three years with support from GeoCatch to fence 40 km of waterways and undertake 11 hectares of revegetation to protect stream-side vegetation and improve water quality. Lamb producer, Chris Mayfield, co-owner of Perivale Lamb in Upper Capel recently installed 3.6 […]

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Local farmers have given a boost to the health of Geographe waterways over the last three years with support from GeoCatch to fence 40 km of waterways and undertake 11 hectares of revegetation to protect stream-side vegetation and improve water quality.

Lamb producer, Chris Mayfield, co-owner of Perivale Lamb in Upper Capel recently installed 3.6 kilometres of fencing to exclude stock from 15 hectares of foreshore on the iconic Capel River.

“Our property has been operational for the last 91 years.  We currently run 1500 breading ewes and up until the last 12 months our creek tributaries have been unfenced” said Chris.

“It is extremely important for us to protect our waterways as the mechanism to limit adverse downstream effects to the ecosystem; not only for our productivity but also for our neighbours”.

The previous property owners fenced a small section of the northern tributary through a previous GeoCatch project approximately five years ago, with outstanding results.

“The regeneration of the creek system has been amazing with noticeable positive effects around the surrounding paddocks.” said Chris.

GeoCatch Coordinator Jen Mitchell says the response from farmers has been very positive.

“Farmers like Chris who have been involved in our fencing program have not only witnessed the visible improvement to the environment, but their stock management has improved as well,” she said.

“It’s great to show that protecting waterways also makes good business sense for the farming community.”

The fencing caps off an ambitious three year project to protect rivers and streams of the Geographe catchment. Using the support of GeoCatch through the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program, farmers have embraced the opportunity to do their bit to help local waterways across eight different catchments between Capel and Dunsborough.

This project is part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program that aims to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

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Spreader accuracy saves money and helps waterways https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/spreader-accuracy-saves-money-and-helps-waterways/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 05:52:32 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6418 Farmers from across the catchment descended on a farm in Treeton recently to gain a better understanding of ways to improve the accuracy of their fertiliser spreaders. A properly tested and calibrated spreader is highly beneficial as it delivers fertiliser evenly across paddocks and helps to prevent runoff of nutrients into waterways. Local farmers brought […]

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Farmers from across the catchment descended on a farm in Treeton recently to gain a better understanding of ways to improve the accuracy of their fertiliser spreaders. A properly tested and calibrated spreader is highly beneficial as it delivers fertiliser evenly across paddocks and helps to prevent runoff of nutrients into waterways.

Local farmers brought their fertiliser spreaders along to be tested for spreading accuracy and were talked through the calibration process to allow a more even spread of fertiliser on the paddock.

Leading Accu Spread trainer Russell Nicol led the day and demonstrated how to test and calibrate fertiliser spreading equipment.

GeoCatch project officer Bree Brown said that it’s critical that nutrients are applied at the right rate in the right place to keep them on the farm and out of waterways.

“The Accuspread field day was a really good opportunity for farmers to test how well their fertiliser spreaders are doing to optimise a pasture response, saving them money and keeping waterways healthy” said Bree.

Brodie Allen, who runs a beef property in Boallia and is a GeoCatch Case Study Farm, was pleased to learn his Vircon spreader had a very even distribution pattern.

“We have been soil testing, tissue testing and receiving agronomic advice through GeoCatch’s soil testing program, so checking that our spreader is doing what it is meant to do is another way to make sure we are being as efficient with our fertiliser as possible”, said Brodie.

“I was really impressed with the AccuSpread field day and the most important thing I learned was the ideal width that our spreader throws. I’d prefer to use accurate test results rather than following wheel ruts”.

GeoCatch partnered with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to coordinate the Accu-spread field day. GeoCatch are currently seeking expressions of interest for the next round of soil testing.

 

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New trials to improve water quality in regional waterways https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/new-trials-to-improve-water-quality-in-regional-waterways/ Fri, 28 Jun 2019 01:39:10 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6412 Scientists from across Australia will use state-of-the-art technology over the next four years to work with grazing farmers in Western Australia to reduce nutrient loss off farm and improve water quality in local waterways and estuaries. More than $5.5 million has been provided by the State and Federal governments for Smart Farming Fertiliser trials to […]

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Scientists from across Australia will use state-of-the-art technology over the next four years to work with grazing farmers in Western Australia to reduce nutrient loss off farm and improve water quality in local waterways and estuaries.

More than $5.5 million has been provided by the State and Federal governments for Smart Farming Fertiliser trials to improve the health of waterways and estuaries by reducing fertiliser run-off, which in turn will help increase farm productivity and profitability.

Hon Dave Kelly Minister for Water said the farm trials will see local farmers work with experts from government, universities and industry, to help improve water quality and save money through efficient use of fertiliser.

“Phosphorus is important in farming but there is widespread concern that repeated fertiliser applications are causing phosphorus ‘leakage’ to the environment which can cause algal blooms in our waterways” said Minister Kelly.

Cutting-edge technology, including near-infrared and x-ray fluorescence, will be used in conjunction with traditional techniques to measure productivity and nutrient status in soils and pastures, providing more in-depth information than previously available.

The project will involve at least 36 fertiliser trials, using seven different treatments on local farms from the Peel-Harvey catchment to Oyster Harbour in Albany. In the last month, 19 trials have been established with initial measurements starting next week.

Scientists from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and CSBP; Summit Fertilizers, Western Dairy, Landmark, Meat and Livestock Australia, independent agronomists and Murdoch University and farmer representatives are on a technical reference group that has developed the design of the trials.

The project is funded with $3.26 million from the State Government’s Regional Estuaries Initiative, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; and $2.35 million through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program with in-kind support from fertiliser, dairy and beef industry groups.

 

 

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Cutting-edge technology to improve water quality and help farmers https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/vasse-surge-barrier-demonstrated-its-importance-in-flood-protection-2-2-2-2/ Thu, 27 Jun 2019 07:25:51 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6409 https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2019/06/Cutting-edge-technology-to-improve-water-quality-and-help-farmers.aspx

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Local turf managers get Fertilise Wise https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/local-turf-managers-get-fertilise-wise/ Fri, 31 May 2019 04:10:31 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6388 Twenty two local landscapers and turf managers learnt how to grow great grass and be smarter with their fertiliser use last week at a ‘Fertilise Wise’ workshop organised by GeoCatch. The training was delivered by turf expert John Forrest from Forrest & Forrest Horticulture Consulting Services who taught participants about sustainable turf establishment, soil requirements, […]

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Twenty two local landscapers and turf managers learnt how to grow great grass and be smarter with their fertiliser use last week at a ‘Fertilise Wise’ workshop organised by GeoCatch.

The training was delivered by turf expert John Forrest from Forrest & Forrest Horticulture Consulting Services who taught participants about sustainable turf establishment, soil requirements, types of fertilisers and how to apply them correctly.

GeoCatch project officer Lisa Massey says the Fertilise Wise Fertiliser training program is an initiative of the Perth-based Phosphorus Awareness Project which trains turf managers and local government officers in fertiliser best management practices.

“GeoCatch recognized we needed John’s expertise with the training program to help reduce fertiliser entering our waterways and Geographe Bay from larger areas of turf and public open space” said Lisa.

“We know a large amount of nutrients leave these areas and end up in our rivers, wetlands and Bay, so it is a priority for GeoCatch to work with this industry”.

A large part of the day was spent learning how to calculate required rates of nutrient applications based on soil and tissue testing. Participants found they could reduce their ongoing costs of fertiliser purchases and maintenance by determining the exact nutrition their turfs require.

Participant John Keil found the day very informative, saying that after the training he intends to apply fertiliser according to the plant’s requirements and recommended application rates, as opposed to guessing.

“I learnt that application of fertiliser is generally in excess of what is required by plants” he said.

Chris Blackwell of Down South Turf gained useful skills in calculating fertiliser rates and plans to make some changes to his turf management.

“Learning the methods of how to calculate the required nutrient rates for fertilising means that I will be producing perfect turf from now on” said Chris.

Upon completion of the workshop, participants received a certificate recognizing their training in fertiliser management of turfs.

“It can be difficult to grow productive lawn and gardens in this catchment’s poor sandy soils. However, turf managers and gardeners can maximize the benefit of fertiliser and water to their lawns and gardens by learning to use them correctly, which will also save them money and help protect the local waterways” said Lisa.

GeoCatch’s Bay OK project is part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which is supported by the State Government to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

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WA water program recognised for innovation https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/wa-water-program-recognised-for-innovation/ Thu, 23 May 2019 02:53:05 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6369 The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) featured prominently at this year’s Australian Water Association’s National Awards. After winning the State award category for Program Innovation, DWER’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways initiative was a finalist in the National Program Innovation Award competing against other great projects at the Ozwater ’19 Gala Dinner, held in Melbourne […]

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) featured prominently at this year’s Australian Water Association’s National Awards.

After winning the State award category for Program Innovation, DWER’s Revitalising Geographe Waterways initiative was a finalist in the National Program Innovation Award competing against other great projects at the Ozwater ’19 Gala Dinner, held in Melbourne last week.

The local program was recognised for its unique collaborative approach to program management; bringing together the community, scientists and managers to improve water quality, health and better management of Geographe waterways.

DWER District Manager Regional Delivery Dr Kath Lynch, gave credit to the dedicated team of staff and project partners that make Revitalising Geographe Waterways such a successful program.

“I’m very proud of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways achievements which are leading the way in collaborative program management.”

“The program has been successful in accelerating improvements in water quality, halting and even reversing water quality declines in key waterways to protect the long term health of Geographe Bay,” said Dr Lynch.

The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways and has representation from state and local government, water service providers and catchment groups.

The program was developed to address major barriers to water quality improvement in the Geographe region, including a lack of overarching coordination, unclear roles and responsibilities and limited opportunity for community input.

The award-winning program has been extended for a further year with $1.6 million allocated in the State Budget.

Enjoy some Revitalising Geographe Waterways achievements in this short video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbKaY2zCo2w&feature=youtu.be&t=1.

For more information on Revitalising Geographe Waterways visit https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au

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Catchment bus tour boosts community understanding https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/catchment-bus-tour-boosts-community-understanding/ Wed, 08 May 2019 05:58:24 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6363 Over 50 enthusiastic community members saw water quality management in action last week at GeoCatch’s 2019 Revitalising Geographe Waterways Community Bus Tour. Attendees welcomed the opportunity to speak directly with farmers and waterway managers from DWER GeoCatch, WC and City of Busselton. They viewed five sites: Vasse surge barrier, Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain […]

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Over 50 enthusiastic community members saw water quality management in action last week at GeoCatch’s 2019 Revitalising Geographe Waterways Community Bus Tour.

Attendees welcomed the opportunity to speak directly with farmers and waterway managers from DWER GeoCatch, WC and City of Busselton. They viewed five sites: Vasse surge barrier, Lower Vasse River, Vasse Diversion Drain and two local farms.

GeoCatch Chair Felicity Bradshaw said the community was really interested to hear about the challenges and complexity of water quality management in the Geographe Bay Catchment.

“Those who attended were impressed at the amount of work being done in this space, and surprised by how complex water quality management can be,” she said.

“The Vasse surge barrier, in particular, sparked a lot of questions from the community.

“It was wonderful to hear about the history of the barrier, and how managers are trying to balance water quality, fish health, waterbirds and public amenity values,” said Felicity.

Attendees said that the bus trip was an excellent way to learn about water quality challenges.

“Talking to real people is much more enjoyable than reading this information,” said community member Helen Taylor.

“I came to find out more about our waterways from the experts to educate myself.”

Visits to local beef and dairy farms working to reduce nutrient loss off farm were a highlight of the trip.

The Haddon family, who run one of the largest dairy farms in the Catchment, have been working with GeoCatch to upgrade their effluent system and have participated in soil testing programs.

Community member, Ian Rotheram, was keen to see firsthand how effluent is managed on farm.

“I didn’t expect dairy effluent management to be so complex,” he said.

“I thought dairy sheds accounted for the majority of effluent, however it was interesting to hear how most of it is managed beyond the dairy shed across the rest of the farm.”

Beef farmer, Ross Prater shared his story about fencing over 5km of creeks on his Walsall property with support from GeoCatch, protecting 19ha of native vegetation on his farm.

Ross is also a keen participant of GeoCatch’s soil testing program and was thrilled with the agronomic support that the project provided and the difference it’s made to his pasture and fertiliser use.

“I believe that if we as farmers have a future, we have to look after the environment,” Ross said.

“The bus trip was a great way to showcase the projects and the people working in our Catchment to improve water quality,” said Felicity.

“The feedback showed that it was a great way for community members to better understand what is being done and how important this work is.”

The Revitalising Geographe Waterways program is supported by the State Government to improve water quality, waterway health and management of Geographe waterways.

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State Budget extends award-winning water program https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/state-budget-extends-award-winning-water-program/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 07:20:13 +0000 https://rgw.dwer.wa.gov.au/?p=6344 The McGowan Government is extending an award-winning water improvement program with $1.6 million allocated in the upcoming State Budget. The money is earmarked for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality, waterway health and better manage the Geographe waterways. The program, which is due to finish its four-year, State-funded run in […]

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The McGowan Government is extending an award-winning water improvement program with $1.6 million allocated in the upcoming State Budget.

The money is earmarked for the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program which aims to improve water quality, waterway health and better manage the Geographe waterways.

The program, which is due to finish its four-year, State-funded run in June, has been extended for a further year to ensure water quality improvements and nutrient reductions in the Geographe catchment can continue under the oversight of the interagency Vasse Taskforce.

“This Budget funding allows for the continued monitoring of the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and priority waterways – crucial to identifying key ecosystem features and threats – so we can target our actions and resources to protect and improve waterway health and water quality” said Hon Dave Kelly Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science.

“The Vasse Taskforce is the driving force behind Revitalising Geographe Waterways and has representation from State and local governments, water service providers and catchment groups. I would like to thank Chair Sally Talbot and all taskforce members for their ongoing commitment and hard work in support of the program” said Minister Kelly.

Since the inception of the program in 2015, there has been a significant reduction in nutrients (phosphorous and/or nitrogen) in 75 per cent of Geographe waterways. Improved fertiliser management over the last 10 years has also seen 2,000 kilograms a year of less phosphorous entering the Vasse Wonnerup wetlands and Geographe Bay.

This additional funding will add value to the existing program through a range of actions which will continue the substantial improvements made to the Geographe catchment while raising awareness and information to the community on water quality issues and progress.

“Our waterways have important aquatic values, some providing habitat for threatened and priority species, and are of high value to both the local community and visitors” said Minister Kelly.

“This project is an example of how the McGowan Government is working with partner agencies and local governments to improve water quality, waterway health and the management of Geographe waterways.”

The Revitalising Geographe Waterways program – 2018 WA Water Association Award winners in the Program Innovation category – is supported by the State Government’s $20 million Regional Estuaries Initiative.

See media statement here.

 

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