The WA Government has signalled plans to do away with a standalone body to manage the Swan and Canning river systems.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob today revealed the Swan River Trust would be amalgamated with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, which manages the State’s national parks, marine parks, forests and other reserves.
The existing trust board will remain as an advisory body to the Minister and about 50 trust staff will join the department.
The surprise move comes after the State Budget failed to include election commitments for the Swan River worth about $16 million. It also follows warnings about the health of the river.
Mr Jacob said the move would “greatly improve the capacity for conservation action to benefit the rivers and reduce duplication”.
“The new arrangements will improve resources for the management and protection of the Swan and Canning rivers and their catchments,” he said.
“This Government created the Department of Parks and Wildlife to deliver better, more focused conservation services and our river conservation efforts will be significantly boosted by combining the expertise and capacity of the two agencies.
"It will also be enhanced by the involvement of its volunteer network of some 4700 dedicated West Australians.
“The department is already the employing authority for Swan River Trust staff and provides a range of corporate services to the trust."This change will further streamline existing arrangements and will see more than 50 Swan River Trust staff join forces with about 1600 department staff.”