Marine life gets $ 13 million lifeline
More than $ 13 million has been allocated to a marine science project aimed at protecting the flora and fauna of Cockburn Sound.
The state government has allocated $ 13.5 million to help the Independent Western Australian Marine Science Institution implement a three-year marine science research program.
WAMSI will investigate potential impacts and improve understanding of the Cockburn Sound ecosystem.
The program will employ more than 100 scientists and technicians who will work on more than 30 different projects, including seagrass health and restoration and potential impact pathways on marine wildlife.
It will also help decide on the preferred option for the new Kwinana container port, with two transition options under consideration.
Transport and Ports Minister Rita Saffioti said $ 400 million from the state budget has been allocated for planning and strategic land acquisition.
“We will ensure that there is rigorous environmental planning and assessment to protect the unique environment, its fisheries and build community confidence,” she said.
âWAMSI is a well-respected independent marine research organization and this collaboration will ensure an independent approach to science that informs Westport’s environmental impact assessment.
âThe allocation of $ 13.5 million to this important marine science program demonstrates how seriously we take the responsibility of ensuring that our future port can be delivered and managed alongside the unique and important marine environment of Cockburn Sound.
“We are committed to delivering Westport and are currently exploring two options for the transition to a port in Kwinana, as well as work to provide a modern freight corridor along the Anketell road to the Tonkin highway.”
Once research planning is complete, field trials focusing on seagrass restoration and habitat creation will begin next year.
The WAMSI partnership will enhance the ability of the Westport program to avoid, mitigate and offset environmental impacts.