Water works anger residents

Water works anger residents

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Melissa Matheson with Save Our Creek sign at Gooralong Brook where damage occurred.

Water investigation works at Gooralong Brook have allegedly damaged ancient sedges and vegetation causing an uproar from the Jarrahdale community.

Jarrahdale local Melissa Matheson first noticed the damage on Sunday, January 31 at the section of the Gooralong Brook on Millars Road.

“That weekend I found a man in the middle of the creek pumping it out and into his truck,” Ms Matheson said.

Further investigation showed the preliminary works began on January 28.

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale President Michelle Rich told the Examiner Newspapers Department of Water and Environmental Regulations (DWER) advised the shire they could carry out the works off-stream.

“As the works were preliminary water investigation works and carried out off-stream to the Gooralong Brook, the Shire was permitted to carry out the work and a permit was not required,” she said.

Ms Matheson said she noted the water had stopped flowing through other areas of the brook since the investigation.

“They’ve stopped the flow of the water and left it looking like a disgrace,” she said.

During her one hour of exercise during last week’s lockdown, Ms Matheson created a sign and hung it on the bridge at the brook before posting the damage to a local community group online.

Shire president Michelle Rich said the works were carried out to investigate possible water sources.

“The Shire is investigating water sources in Jarrahdale to support the Shire’s and community’s needs, including water for tourism opportunities, trails development and to support emergency services,” Ms Rich said.

According to Ms Matheson the tourism opportunities referred to by the shire is an RV Park proposed for the area.

“The RV Park hasn’t been approved yet and the money for the trails hasn’t gone through,” she said.

The community wasn’t made aware of the investigation due to community consultation not being required, the Shire said.

“As this work was for preliminary investigations, community consultation was not carried out,” Ms Rich said.

“The Shire is engaging with the community on the current situation and is committed to working with the community on this matter moving forward.”