Dammed awful

AN environmental group fighting plans to dam a river near Manjimup are bringing their campaign to Fremantle in the hope some pressure from their city cousins will convince the McGowan government to back off.

The Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme is a Murray River-style water trading scheme designed to boost agriculture in the South West, but Save Our Donnelly River says it will destroy nearly 80 hectares of old growth forest and lead to “corporate operators” pushing out small farmers.

SODR organiser Anton Troy told the Herald it didn’t make sense building a 15 gigalitre dam on Record Brook, filled by water taken from the Donnelly, given the area was experiencing declining rainfall. He said the Donnelly hadn’t flowed for a full year in the last decade and couldn’t afford to lose any more water.

Former Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri, now a farmer and business owner in the area himself, has been campaigning against the scheme since it first emerged a couple of years ago, calling it “vandalism”.

The local forum on the scheme is being held tonight (Saturday, October 3) from 6pm at the North Fremantle Community Centre.

by STEVE GRANT

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