Removal of water reserves makes way for increased activities in Great Southern catchments
Released 06 Aug 2015
Two water reserves near Walpole and Denmark have been abolished as part of a review of the State's protected water source catchments.
Department of Water Executive Director Science and Planning Greg Claydon said the Deep River and Scotsdale Brook water reserves are no longer required for public drinking water supply.
"This means that rules set up to protect a drinking water source by controlling certain types of activities in the catchment area, aren't needed," he said.
The abolitions follow consultation with key stakeholders including the Shires of Denmark and Manjimup, the South West Development Commission, South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, Water Corporation and the departments of Planning, Premier and Cabinet, Parks and Wildlife, Sport and Recreation, Fire and Emergency Services and Health.
All consulted stakeholders were supportive of the abolitions.
Mr Claydon said the abolition opens the way for increased recreation, tourism and Aboriginal customary activities in the Great Southern.
"When, where and how increased recreation is best achieved in these areas is now up to the relevant government agencies, local authorities and community stakeholders," he said.
"This outcome is another positive result of ongoing work to implement the findings of a 2010 parliamentary committee report into recreation activities in public drinking water source areas.
"It also supports work by the State Government with Great Southern Native Title claimants to support customary activities under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993."
Mr Claydon said increasing recreation in non-drinking water catchments does not affect the State's drinking water supplies.
"The abolition of these reserves is in addition to the review of 11 drinking water catchments in response to the recommendations of the 2010 parliamentary committee report.
"The Department of Water has already acted on nine of the 11 water catchments identified in the response to that report, with the remaining two still under consideration.
"We also recently altered by-laws controlling certain access and activities in the Warren River and Kent River water reserves to remove barriers to increased recreation, tourism and Aboriginal customary activities in those catchments while retaining controls for salinity management."
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441