Greens: Urgent action needed to save Swan Canning River System following report concerns

A report released today by the Auditor General on the health of the Swan Canning River system has confirmed community and scientific concern that not enough is being done to protect the river from a range of environmental issues.
“The comprehensive report by the Auditor General shows that despite a range of  plans, strategies and actions currently in place – the Swan Canning river system is not adequately protected”, said Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren.
“One major concern is the water quality in the middle and upper sections of the Swan Canning river system is in moderate to poor condition and declining. This has been attributed to decades of human impact in the catchment and urban areas and recent climate change.
“Currently our systems in place to conserve the iconic river system are not enough, it seems the Swan River Trust has a very limited scope of responsibility around the river itself. It’s the responsibility of the Government as a whole to ensure the river system is properly conserved, we must take drastic action and take the valued river system off life support.
“The Greens (WA) call for increased sustainable funding options to improve catchment and drainage management, we also must conduct drain status assessment over the whole urban drainage network and collate this material centrally. The report states that ‘urban drains are a year-round major source of pollutants from small to medium sized industry, agriculture and domestic sources. No single agency is responsible for overseeing Perth’s urban stormwater and drainage system before it enters the river. Many agencies could influence water quality in their sections of the drainage network, yet no agency is mandated to do so’.

“It is clear that more research is necessary to effectively implement the best practice of drain management in Perth. We must act now before the fragile eco-system of the river system becomes completely irreparable. We must invest in this immediately.”