The Summary of Cave and Karst Conservation and Management Issues in WA.

This year has been a busy one, however a number of outstanding issues have had little progress. The full report and "summary" from 2008 is still accurate and rather than repeating the issues for each region again, we refer the reader to the 2007 report for further information.

Of significant note, Western Australian speleologists hosted the ACKMA Conference (Margaret River region May 2009) and a number of papers on WA karst management issues were presented. In particular, there was a workshop on "Planning and Urbanization in Karst Lands" which was well attended by local planners and Government agency staff. Several post conference field trips were arranged, which allowed participants and ACKMA members to visit karst areas and consider conservation and management issues.

There has been communication with the Cape Conservation Group on involving their group in groundwater monitoring. There is concern about the growth around Exmouth & the allocated allowances for water abstraction. The project was inspired as part of the Conservation Council's launching of their Citizen Science initiative. The monitoring program could be an important local grass roots strategy to raise the issue of water sensitivities on the range & involve the local schools in monitoring the groundwater & the associated communities.

In June, a karst ‘ground-truthing’ of Nowergup Lot 1, 2350 Wanneroo Road was undertaken at a site proposed for limestone extraction, batching & block cutting. A submission was forwarded from both WASG & the ASF Conservation Commission, as part of the public comment phase objecting to the proposal as it stood. The proposal also received significant local objection & council has now recommended to the DPI that the application be rejected.

A private cave at Guilderton has been opened up for ease of access where it was found through a borehole intersection. The cave (Rosewood Cave) has been track marked & surveyed. The remedial work recommended on the cave has been undertaken by the landowner at their own expense. This included walling up the cave to help preserve the atmosphere & the installation of a door. Rehabilitation of the exterior is expected to follow with revegetation including perennial tree species for slope stabilisation. The land owner supports this preservation and has been working with speleologists.

Also of note conservation wise is the efforts of WASG Trip Leaders in cave rehabilitation works in Blackboy Hollow Cave and speleothem repairs at Yanchep (Crystal Cave). The speleothem repairs were from that vandalism that occurred a few years back now.

In June, contact was made by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River regarding a proposed timber plantation at Cowaramup – no issues were raised and no further action was required. In December

2008, a submission was made to the City of Wanneroo on the local biodiversity strategy and the draft loca environmental plan (2009-1014). In April, public comment was sought in relation to the planned mining expansion of land near a mining site.

Jay Anderson Rob Susac