Leschenault waterways healthy but needing careful management: report
Released 18 Jun 2007
The Leschenault waterways are relatively healthy but require careful management to protect them from increasing pressures, a major environmental report card has found.
The report, by the Department of Water, describes the current environmental condition of the Leschenault estuarine system, the surface waters feeding the system and the surrounding catchment.
It says that both the Leschenault Estuary and Inlet have changed considerably as a consequence of the introduction of the "Cut" in the 1950s and the subsequent development of the Bunbury Inner Harbour.
But it finds that both water bodies have since stabilised as more saline environments and that their water quality is consistent with a relatively healthy environment
"The catchments which source and support the Leschenault estuarine system are subject to increasing pressure," the report says.
It lists the pressures as urban and industrial expansion, climate change and changes in land use.
Program manager for the Department of Water's Leschenault-Collie District, Mike McKenna said the report represented a compilation of the majority of the scientific research undertaken within the Leschenault estuarine system.
"The report provides a statement on the current environmental health of the system including the Leschenault Estuary, the Leschenault Inlet and the lower reaches of the Brunswick, Collie and Preston rivers," Mr McKenna said.
"In general, while the Leschenault Estuary and Inlet currently reflect a reasonable state of health, the lower river systems exhibit, on occasion the symptoms of systems under considerable and increasing pressure, such as high nutrient levels, algal blooms and occasional fish deaths.
"These problems can be exacerbated and become more frequent and widespread if appropriate and precautionary management is not undertaken." Mr McKenna said the report highlighted the need to remain vigilant in continuing to monitor and proactively manage the health of the waterways.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441