Recycled Water Used To Grow Native Species For Land Restoration Projects

Recycled Water Used To Grow Native Species For Land Restoration Projects

Western Australia Minister for Water Mia Davies

Trainees Sow Seeds Of Success At Broome Plant

Victor P Taffa

  • Mamabulanjin trainees gain agricultural skills and experience at a native tree seed bank at the Water Corporation’s Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Water Corporation also providing first-hand experience to trainees from Mowanjum Station about how to harvest Rhodes grass

Water Minister Mia Davies recently met with trainees at a native seed bank in Broome which uses recycled water to grow native species for land restoration projects across the Kimberley and Pilbara regions.

Ms. Davies said the Liberal National Government, through the Water Corporation, had partnered with the Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) to offer Aboriginal trainees aged 17-24, the opportunity to work at the MAC seed bank to gain valuable experience and contribute to TAFE qualifications.

The Minister said it was the first time recycled water from a Water Corporation wastewater treatment plant had been used to grow native trees.

“The trainees have helped to establish thousands of native trees on land made available by the Water Corporation, and are gaining valuable experience and skills in horticulture and operating small machinery.” Ms. Davies said.

“It is fantastic to see this progress, as well as the creation of employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people in Broome.”

Seedlings of species including Salwood, Black Wattle and Gubinge are grown in more than 17 ha of land adjacent to the Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Some of these plants are endemic and at risk of becoming endangered. The plantation uses ‘savanna enrichment’, a method that combines traditional techniques and modern horticulture which can be replicated across many areas of the Kimberley.

The Minister said land at the wastewater treatment plant was also used to grow a crop of Rhodes grass, with additional trainees travelling from Mowanjum Station near Derby, to help with the harvest under the guidance of experienced Water Corporation operators.

“As this is the same type of crop grown by the Water Corporation in Broome, the experience gained by Mowanjum trainees during this harvest will help contribute to the success of the trial in Derby.” Ms. Davies said.

Fact File

  • The Water Corporation uses recycled water from the Broome North Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate Rhodes grass, which is harvested as stock feed and sold to local cattle stations
  • About 306 Million litres of recycled water is used to irrigate Rhodes grass each year
  • Mowanjum trainees travel to Broome every 6-12 weeks to take part in the Water Corporation’s Rhodes grass harvest