Urgency needed to clear seaweed

Urgency is required to clear a wall of seaweed on the Busselton side of Port Geographe within the next two weeks, according to one resident.

Siesta Park owner Greg Tickle said the solution to the problem was easy and would require a few excavators to tidy the area in a day then let the high tide carry the sea grass out to sea.

“We have done that [at Siesta Park] in the past and it worked quite well,” he said. “It is not too late but it needs to be done soon, in three weeks it will be too late.”

The Department of Transport are the lead agency which manage the waterways around Port Geographe and so far have refused to clear the area of sea wrack.

A spokesperson said sea grass wrack naturally accumulated on the Western beach during the winters and in the past two years had been removed by wind and wave conditions in spring.

“To date, both wrack volume and odour remain well below the threshold that would trigger a management response by DOT that would require necessary mechanical (human) intervention.” 

Port Geographe resident Peter Maccora said unless there was more than 60,000 cubic metres of sea grass then the DOT would not intervene.

“This year there is quite a stockpile. We asked them to pull the sea grass off the beach and make it a sand dune, it would be minor effort with a minimal cost,” he said.

Resident Brad Fish said the DOT needed to take responsibility and there was nothing natural about the buildup next to a “man-made” groyne.

“They think these levels are acceptable, the seagrass is 2.5 metres high in some spots,” he said.

“Last year they thought it was  success but we never got the early storms, the storms were mild last year, this year was the test.”

City of Busselton chief executive Mike Archer said the city had concerns about the unnatural build up of sea grass wrack which had accumulated this winter and council would discuss the matter on Wednesday.

Mr Archer said council would would consider several options but it was important to note that they must exercise caution to ensure they do not compound the problem further.

“All factors, will be considered by council before any decision to instigate action is made.”

Vasse MP Libby Mettam said she was seeking a more proactive approach from the DOT in dealing with the matter and had written to the minister.

Ms Mettam said it was an unnatural accumulation of seaweed and it was quite incorrect to suggest the accumulation of seawood was natural.

After November, Ms Mettam said we no longer had the advantage of winter tides and storms to move the seaweed.​

Have your say: What should be done about the sea grass wrack built up around the Port Geographe groyne? Email editorial.bdmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au.