River Tax Off The Agenda

River Tax Off The Agenda

Western Australia Minister for Environment John Day

Nutrient Battle Key To River Health

Victor P Taffa

The State Government has rejected a proposal to levy Perth residents with a so-called ‘river tax’ as part of their annual water rates.

Environment Minister John Day said the management and protection of the Swan and Canning River Systems was a complex and ongoing task.

“The Government remains firmly committed to ensuring a wide range of programs are being delivered to restore and protect the health of our rivers.” Mr. Day said.

The Minister said the trust, in partnership with community groups, industry, other State Government agencies and an army of volunteers was working to reduce nutrients entering our rivers, through restoration of catchments and river foreshores.

“Nutrient intervention technology trials continue to be a major focus.” Mr. Day said.



“I am advised that a decline in rainfall, which is resulting in less fresh water inflow and more saline water, is a new challenge for our rivers and this makes it difficult to compare the current state of the rivers to the past.” Mr. Day said.

Mr Day said Recent Key Initiatives Include:

Funding of $3.29 Million over two years from the State’s Natural Resource Management funds to assist implementation of the Swan Canning Water Quality Improvement Plan aimed at reducing Nitrogen and Phosphorus from the River Catchments.

This includes:

• $1.15 Million to rehabilitate the degraded Anvil Way drainage basin in Welshpool and create a new wetland;

• $867,000 for nutrient stripping wetlands and living streams in the Southern River Catchment;

• $291,000 for fencing and replanting riparian areas in the Ellen Brook Catchment;

• $250,000 enabling a further 800 audits of small and medium-sized businesses;

• $200,000 to investigate the feasibility for an end of catchment nutrient stripping wetland in Ellen Brook;

• $180,000 to apply a nutrient magnet to parts of the Canning River to block damaging Algal Blooms.

• Providing $220,000 for on ground projects aimed at improving water quality entering the River;

• Providing almost $1.2 Million in foreshore funding; of which $800,000 for the Riverbanks grants program to fund erosion control works in partnership with Local Government and Community Groups;

• $250,000 for the implementation of Chief Scientists Dolphin Report, including $50,000 to boost the River Guardians Dolphin Watch Program;

• $250,000 to undertake more than 800 audits of small and medium-sized businesses to ensure they are not contributing contaminants to the River System;

• $1 Million for another oxygenation plant for the upper reaches of the Canning River;

• $300,000 to implement local water quality improvement plans, including projects such as living streams, nutrient stripping wetlands, fertiliser efficiency programs and compliance initiatives to control sediment and erosion.

The Minister said the State Government announced earlier this year that new limits on the amount of phosphorus contained in home garden fertiliser would effectively halve the concentration of phosphorus in domestic-use fertilisers.

“Last year the State Government invested $610,000 in field trials aimed at minimising the effect of highly-soluble phosphorous fertilisers.” Mr. Day said.