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DIVERSION ASPERSIONS | The West Australian

Residents surrounding the Vasse Diversion Drain have labelled the works to improve the visual amenity of the drain a “waste of taxpayer’s money” with redevelopment of the drain set to continue.

The works were held near Bussell Highway and downstream to the footbridge near the ocean affecting residents on Lockimiar Place, Dorset Street, Mill Road, Arabian Court, Thurke Street and Whitton Street in West Busselton.

Despite their concerns, Labor MLC Sally Talbot said GeoCatch co-ordinated a campaign to encourage people to provide feedback on the trial with most survey respondents satisfied visual water quality had improved in the drain.

“GeoCatch along with the City of Busselton, Water Corporation and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will continue to monitor and assess the cost- effectiveness of opening the sand bar including what is the best time of year to prolong the opening,” she said.

Continued work planned for the drain includes upgrading the connection between the diversion drain and the lower Vasse River by replacing ageing infrastructure and liveability projects on the lower section around Bussell Highway.

Lockimiar Place resident Shirley Bevan said it was one thing to make a “big splash” with the project but another to ensure the desired outcome was delivered. “The work has been a massive disruption to tenants in the adjacent caravan park as well as locals and tourists alike,” she said. “There is no way anyone, no matter how good an engineer they are, can change nature.”

GeoCatch chairwoman Felicity Bradshaw said the sand bar was expected to naturally open over winter months as the flows increased off the catchment.

“Even though the sandbar partially closed over in the days following the opening, a channel of 2-4m has remained open allowing sufficient seawater exchange to improve water quality in the lower sections of the drain,” she said.

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