The Greens have criticised the State Government’s multi-million dollar funding package for the troubled Port Geographe marina.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell last month announced $28.15 million would be provided to solve the seagrass problem which has plagued the development for years and cost $1.5 million to clean up annually.
Greens Vasse candidate Michael Baldock has questioned whether the money would provide a long-term solution for Busselton.
“Only three months ago the Minister for Transport, in response to questions by Greens MPs in Parliament, confirmed the State Government accepted no responsibility in relation to the seagrass and coastal erosion problems affecting Port Geographe,” he said.
Mr Baldock said the funding package meant taxpayers took on all of the responsibility but developers kept all of the remaining 500 canal lots.
“The State Liberal Government has taken on an open-ended liability with respect to the coastal maintenance costs,” he said.
Mr Baldock said there was no penalty to the banks and developers responsible for the problem and there was an unmet expectation in the community that LandCorp would take over the project to then complete the development.
Mr Buswell said it was incumbent upon the Government to provide a solution to the problem, as the situation was “clearly unsustainable”.
Coastal management and amenities issues were the main priority and it would be “difficult to justify using taxpayers’ money to bail out Westpac Bank,” he said.
Mr Baldock said questions needed to be answered about the long-term impact on Wonnerup Beach.
He said University of WA’s seagrass wrack modelling study noted none of the model options trialled, including the one selected, complied with the proposed beach alignment approved by the Environmental Protection Authority.
Mr Buswell admitted this was correct but insisted the works would deliver a more stable beach than what had been there in the past.
He said Wonnerup Beach would be narrower than approved by the Environmental Protection Authority, though the outcome would be consistent with other beaches in Geographe Bay.