Local Noongar Elder Harry Nannup performed a traditional Noongar Smoking Ceremony at the Serpentine River on 6 December. The event marked the launch of an innovative $1.9 million project to treat water from the Peel Main Drain before it enters the Serpentine River. The project is being delivered in partnership between the government and the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC).
The project aims to improve the health of the Serpentine River, and ultimately the Peel-Harvey Estuary.
The environmental values and many uses of estuaries are respected by our Noongar people and are an integral part of their culture and knowledge.
The ‘Restoring the Health of the Serpentine River’ project is part of the Regional Estuaries Initiative (REI) which is a $20 million Royalties for Regions funded state government program to improve the health of our regional estuaries. Led by the Department of Water, the REI is intended to improve water quality and waterway health in six south-western estuaries and their catchments, including the Peel-Harvey Estuary.
The aim of the ‘Restoring the Health of the Serpentine River’ project is to improve the water quality and ecological health of the Serpentine River by diverting flow from the Peel Main Drain to adjacent land and wetlands to reduce organic matter and nutrients which would normally enter the Serpentine River. The success and practicability of water quality treatments to address organic matter and nutrient concentrations including soil amendments, natural wetlands, solids settling and biological treatment will be monitored. With future funding, the intent is to upscale and replicate similar works to other high polluting sub catchments.
Partnerships are a key component of the Regional Estuaries Initiative. The PHCC has been working for several years to get the project on ground and the PHCC chairman, Andy Gulliver is very thankful to be working in partnership with the Department of Water and to have the support of the Water Corporation and Department of Parks and Wildlife to deliver this iconic project.
“The Smoking Ceremony marked the beginning of the project, and it was wonderful to have so many of Peel-Harvey Catchment Council’s partners and stakeholders represented on the day,” Mr Gulliver said.
The PHCC continues to push the boundaries and strives to punch above our weight. Improving the health of the river will also contribute to the health of our internationally significant and Ramsar listed Peel-Harvey Estuary. This will be a project we hope will demonstrate how you can restore a system when People Work Together for a shared vision.
Officially opened by the Hon Colin Holt, Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister for Water, with support from the Director General for the Department of Water, Mr Mike Rowe, the project is initially a four (4) year water quality project across a 180 hectare site, located on the east side of Kwinana Freeway, just south of Karnup Road.
Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800