SW, Peel group recognised for coastline protection

David CharlesworthSouth Western Times
South West and Peel Coastal Management Group secretary Peter Eastlake accepts the Community Award and Special Commendation from Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.
Camera IconSouth West and Peel Coastal Management Group secretary Peter Eastlake accepts the Community Award and Special Commendation from Planning Minister Rita Saffioti.

Connecting land managers to better protect the coastline has earned the South West and Peel Coastal Management Group the Community Group Award at the WA Coastal Awards for Excellence.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti presented the awards in Perth last Tuesday to a number of environmental organisations for their work in protecting and managing the WA coast.

The main initiative which earned the group its award was for 14 forums held with local governments and coastal management groups.

These included forums in Mandurah and Bunbury, both of which the councils of Harvey and Waroona attended.

Group project officer Jo Ludbrook said the forums served to identify coastal management projects, issues and priorities.

“The idea is to look for challenges, issues and opportunities that are shared across those areas,” Ms Ludbrook said.

“Issues don’t stop at local government borders.”

She said group project officers helped research with a wider scope and from other regions, provided guidance throughout projects and helped with grant applications.

Ms Ludbrook said the original approach of the group had been purely the rehabilitation and conservation of coastal areas, but had moved into a role balancing the protection of these areas with public access and usage.

“More and more we are recognising the competing uses of the coast, encroaching infrastructure and human impacts along the coast,” she said.

The group was also awarded a special commendation in the Coastal Champion award for its role in regional leadership and coordination role as well as providing a forum to share information and strengthen relationships.

South West Catchments Council was also awarded a special commendation in the Coastal Planning section for its strategic regional coastal plan for managing coastal areas between Binningup and Walpole.

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