Austin Bay Restoration

Project Title: Austin Bay Restoration
Project Code: N/A
Funding Source: N/A
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Austin Bay Restoration – Mobile Muster

Project Title: Austin Bay Restoration – Mobile Muster
Project Code: N/A
Funding Source: N/A
Start: N/A End: N/A Project Officers: N/A

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Lake Clifton Threatened Species

Project Title: Lake Clifton Threatened Species Project Code: N/A
Funding Source: N/A
Start: N/A End: N/A Project Officers: N/A

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Ramsar – Developing a Management Plan

Project Title: The Ramsar listed Peel-Yalgorup System – Developing a Management Plan Project Code: WH.03c
Funding Source: The Ramsar management planning project is funded by the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) and/or the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP), these are joint initiatives of the State and Australian Government, which are administered by the South West Catchments Council; Additional funding was provided by the Peel Development Commission
Start: July 2005 End: On – going Project Officers: Kim Wilson and Amanda Willmott

Ramsar Sponsors

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council in partnership with the Department of Environment and Conservation, with funding received from the South West Catchments Council and the Peel Development Commission is developing a Ramsar Management Plan for the Peel-Yalgorup System. The System is an internationally important wetland, listed under the Ramsar Convention.

Latest News (August 2008) Management plan open for comment

The Draft Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Site Management Plan is now open for public comment. Hard copies are available for collection from the Peel Waterways Centre, Suite 6, 21 Sholl St, Mandurah or can be requested from the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, by phoning 9550 4224 or emailing

Draft Ramsar Management Plan (3.3MB)

Appendix A (2.5Mb); Appendix B (887Kb); Appendices E & F (813Kb)

Please note: Appendices C and D will be available with the final version of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Site Management Plan

We welcome your submissions. They may be emailed to or mailed to Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, PO Box 332, Mandurah WA, 6210. Please refer to the relevant section of the draft plan when making your comments.

The comment period for the Draft Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Site Management Plan closes on September 8, 2008 and all submissions must be received by 5pm WST.

Results from the Ramsar Planning Workshop

As part of a broader process of participatory management a workshop session was held as part of the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s (PHCC) Annual Community Forum, at Coodanup Hall in December 2007. Over 100 community, government, business and non-government organisation representatives attended the workshop to discuss priorities for managing the wetlands that comprise the Ramsar-listed Peel-Yalgorup System. This feedback has since been analysed and integrated into the draft plan. To read a discussion of the workshop feedback and how this feedback integrates into the plan development click here.

The International Convention on Wetlands or “Ramsar Convention”

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in the town of Ramsar, Iran in 1971 (more commonly known as the Ramsar Convention) is an intergovernmental treaty that aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and conserve those that remain. It also assists in conserving habitat for waterbirds and promotes the wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

The wise use of wetlands is their sustainable utilisation for the benefit of mankind in a way compatible with the maintenance of the natural properties of the ecosystem.

Participating nations are asked to designate wetland sites of international importance. Prospective wetlands must meet one or more of the 9 criteria outlined by the Ramsar Convention. More information about the Ramsar Convention, the criteria for internationally important wetlands and concepts related to wetland wise use can be found at

Importance of Peel-Yalgorup System

The Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar site was listed in 1990 and includes the Peel Inlet, Harvey Estuary, Lake McLarty System, Lake Mealup and the waters & lands of Yalgorup National Park (10 lakes). The features of the Peel-Yalgorup System include:

  • The largest and most diverse estuarine complex in SW Australia.
  • Examples of coastal saline lakes and freshwater marshes.
  • One of only two locations in the SW and one of very few in the world where living thrombolites occur in hyposaline water.
  • Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary comprise the most important area for waterbirds in SW Australia.
  • Up to 150,000 waterbirds have been recorded in the estuary at one time.
  • The site hosts over 1% of the populations of at least 14 waterbirds species.
  • Significant site for migratory birds. Species include Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover. Australia also has agreements with China, Japan and Korea ( CAMBA, JAMBA, ROKAMBA) to protect migratory birds and their environment.

Download a copy of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Brochure here.

Further detail about the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar system, in the form of a Ramsar Information Sheet (or RIS) and a detailed map of the system are available from the Dept of Environment and Conservation website. (Website no longer exists)

Information for Stakeholders

The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council is working with stakeholders and the community in the development and implementation of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Management Plan. The plan will help to ensure:

  • Improved ecosystem health.
  • Wetland management that aligns with the ‘wise use’ principle
  • Coordinated research, monitoring & evaluation.
  • Improved awareness of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar listing in the community.
  • Better recognition of the Peel-Harvey region.

The ‘participatory’ management planning process is underway. A technical advisory group, comprising representatives of key agency and technical groups have met a number of times over recent months to consider both the management plan and the Ecological Character Description (or ECD). The group will continue to inform the planning process in the new year.

Community representatives were contacted in October 2007, in a process of determining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in conservation and management of the Ramsar wetland. Respondents were asked to view a presentation (Download ~3Mb) and complete a questionnaire to indicate their willingness to participate in the management planning process.

Preliminary results were used as a basis for the next working stage – at the Peel Harvey Catchment Council’s Annual Community Forum held on 7 December 2007. Participants formed groups to review the key issues for managing the Ramsar System. The results of this work will be available soon.

If you would like more information about the planning process or wish to be involved, please contact Amanda Willmott at the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council via or by phoning (08) 9550 4224.

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) C’th

Australia recognises its obligations to the Ramsar Convention through legislative tools such as the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999(Cth). The Act protects seven matters of National Environmental Significance, including the ecological character of Ramsar wetlands, threatened ecological communities, listed threatened species and migratory species.

Under the Act, “Actions” that are likely to impact on a matter of National Environmental Significance must be referred to the Australian Government Minister. The referral should be made by:

  • The person proposing to take an action, but may also be made by
  • A State, Territory or Australian Government Minister, or government agency (including Local Government) that is aware of a proposed action if that Minister or agency has administrative responsibilities relating to the action, or
  • The Australian Government Environment Minister

More information about this is available on the Australian Government’s website: