Gascoyne River Catchment receives funding to protect soil erosion and reduce flooding, helping agribusinesses

Jessica MoroneyMidwest Times
A flowing Gascoyne River near Carnarvon.
Camera IconA flowing Gascoyne River near Carnarvon. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Western Australia’s longest river is set to get a $500,000 boost, increasing the profitability and productivity of the region’s agribusiness.

The Gascoyne River flows most years, impacting many industries from fruit and vegetable growers to local fisheries.

The 865km-long river provides the main source of recharge to underground water stores. During floods, the river can discharge around 6000m3/second — enough to fill two Olympic pools in one second.

The $500,000 State Government investment will provide a Gascoyne River Catchment Resilience project, aimed to implement a range of strategies to slow water movement and decrease the risk of flooding and subsequent soil erosion.

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Slowing water movement will reduce the impacts during heavy rainfall and river flows on downstream horticulture and fisheries industries.

The project will engage with traditional owners to protect cultural heritage, include a rehydration survey of the catchment, develop ecologically sustainable Rangeland management plans and site rehydration and rehabilitation works.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said supporting the project would rehabilitate the fragile rangeland soil and vegetation and improve its conditions.

“Pastoralists in the Gascoyne have been exposed to the impacts of climate change — this foundation work will ensure pastoralists can continue sustainable land care plans and realise the productive potential of the Rangelands,” she said.

The State Government will partner with Gascoyne Catchments Group to carry out the project.

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