Westpoll signal for Yarragadee

Westpoll signal for Yarragadee

Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA

THE latest Westpoll on water use is one more clear signal to the Western Australian Government that it should back away from its proposal to tap the Yarragadee aquifer in the South West for Perth.

The Westpoll on water confirmed a recent CSIRO poll commissioned by the Government that showed 80 per cent of both city and South West people were opposed to the taking of Yarragadee water for Perth.

A second, more recent socio-economic poll produced similar opposition.

The people of WA are saying a very definite "no" to this proposal and, despite an extension of the Yarragadee study announced this week by the Minister Judy Edwards in response to local concerns, her agencies still appear to be surging ahead.

Any involvement by the Water Corporation in resources such as the Yarragadee not only limits the availability of water in the immediate area of draw, it also has dramatic consequences for landowners who are hit with a range of questionable new management controls.

The real challenge for water authorities is to turn their attention to the thinning of catchments above the State’s major existing dams back to their original status.

The Water Corporation has listed the restoration of existing catchments to their original state as a means of collecting an extra 40 gigalitres of water a year.

That saving is close to the amount of water they intend to draw from the Yarragadee but the Government would obviously prefer to upset the landowners of the South West than to risk a confrontation with the environmental lobby over catchment thinning.

– Sue Walker

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