Ramsar plan gets public support
Released 01 Aug 2008
A major new management plan for the Ramsar-listed Peel-Yalgorup wetlands system has passed its first public test with strong support from a recent community gathering in Mandurah.
The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council has announced that a first draft of the plan would be released to the public for comment on Monday August 11.
More than 30 members of the public were given a sneak preview of the plan at the latest Peel Waterways Centre public seminar.
The plan sets out eight strategies to restore, protect and promote the features of the internationally-recognised Peel-Yalgorup wetlands.
These include work to clearly define the boundaries of the system, developing better education and community awareness programs, and ensuring that the management of the wetlands is a part of a broader catchment framework.
The Catchment Council's Amanda Wilmott said the initial response from the public indicated the plan was on the right track.
"We've worked with the community right from the start in developing it," she said. "One of the key objectives is to ensure that the community, along with all levels of government, remain actively involved in managing and protecting the wetlands.
"The feedback we're getting will help us further shape the plan and is pointing us to the areas which need more work.
"From the meeting it's clear we need a strong emphasis on signage and community awareness, backed up by a system of enforcement if required. That will be particularly important for our efforts to protect the thousands migratory birds which call the Peel-Yalgorup home every year.
"We'll take all those ideas on board as we finalise the plan."
The coordinator of the Peel Waterways Centre, the Department of Water's Mr Bob Pond, said the plan highlighted the need for the integration of activities between government agencies and community groups to manage these valuable wetlands.
Mr Pond said the department congratulated the Peel Harvey Catchment Council for pulling together all the stakeholders involved in managing the area, and getting the draft plan out for public comment.
Ms Wilmott said the plan would be available for public comment until September 8, with copies available from the Peel Waterways Centre or the web (www.peel-harvey.org.au) from August 11.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441