The Western Australian government has announced that it will make increased use of pumps to facilitate the removal of the large amounts of foul smelling seagrass which accumulates on the shores of Port Geographe near Busselton.
State transport minister Troy Buswell said that that the increased use of pumps to get rid of the toxic seagrass in lieu of overland transportation via trucks will benefit Busselton residents by reducing their exposure to the unpleasant smell caused by carting the weeds away via roads.
“This year truck movements are expected to be reduced as contractors pump the bulk of the 150,000 cubic metres of seagrass and sand removed from the beach to an approved disposal area off the coast from where it will naturally disperse,” Buswell said.
In addition to the removal of seagrass, pumps will also be used instead of trucks for the delivery of sand to local beaches.
“It’s expected sand will also be pumped, rather than trucked, to Wonnerup Beach, to address erosion issues, again reducing traffic on local roads,” Buswell said.
He added that preparations for the annual seagrass removal program had already commenced as work continues on the $28 million reconfiguration of Port Geographe’s coastal structures in order to remedy environmental problems caused by the marina development.
Busselton’s VMS Contractors will be the approved subcontractor for the work. Pumping is expected to continue for three months, starting in the middle of September and concluding by mid-December.
Port Geographe, situated on Western Australia’s southwest coast, has been blighted by both seagrass and beach erosion since the 1990s, when hydraulic structures called groynes were installed for a marina development.
The groynes served to trap and accumulate seagrass on one side during the winter months, while causing erosion of the beach due to structural failings on the other.
The problem of large mounds of odorous seagrass have crippled local housing prices and have thwarted the efforts of property developers to transform the picturesque area into a seaside resort. The cost of shifting the noxious weeds rose to $1.6 million 2011.
The $28 million coastal reconfiguration of Port Geographe will eventually see the dismantling of the groynes, which lie at the heart of the area’s environmental troubles.
“Trucking of rock from Augusta has now been completed and the focus of the activity on site is on preparing to remove groynes and commence dredging,” Buswell said.