By Peter Sinagra
Perth’s Swan River is under serious threat from pollution but is this scaring away locals and tourists from swimming in WA’s most famous waterway?
With summer fast approaching, the Swan draws thousands of recreational users to various parts of the river but anecdotal evidence suggests many people now prefer our popular beaches and swimming pools to keep cool.
“The water is disgusting. The pollution is definitely putting people off swimming in it. The thousands of dead fish washing up on the river banks is evidence enough for me to stay out of it,” says Sam Wasley, who lives in Bullcreek.
One of the many organisations and agencies in Perth concerned with the issue of pollution in the Swan River is the Conservation Council of Western Australia
According to a media release on the Conservation Council’s website, its director Piers Verstegen says the state government must act to fix the ailing river.
“When it comes to the Swan River, the Government have a clear choice,“ says Mr Verstegen.
“They can either address the pollution problem at its source once and for all at no cost to taxpayers, or they can commit hundreds of millions of dollars trying to fix a sick river that will keep getting more sick and more polluted every year.”
Jeannine Russell, a long-time resident of Perth who works at the Kings Park Information Centre fears it is too late to save the Swan.
“Back in my day the water was fresh, and now it has too much salt and I think that’s why people don’t want to swim in it anymore,” said Ms Russell.
Organisations dedicated to looking after the Swan River believe the Western Australian Government needs to put plans into action and save the river before it is too late and no one wants to use it.