Vasse Diversion Drain Upgrade

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The drain will be widened to hold more water for flood protection.

Water Corporation is planning to upgrade the Vasse Diversion Drain to increase flood protection in Busselton. Floods have continued to affect the Busselton community since the drain was built in the 1920’s, and although we have been making smaller modifications to the Busselton drainage system to mitigate flooding, these options have now run out.

The Vasse Diversion Drain starts just North of the Busselton Golf Course (refer to map under Document Library) and extends for around 6.3 km north to the ocean at Geographe Bay. It diverts water from the Vasse & Sabina rivers to prevent them overflowing and flooding Busselton.

In November 2000, State Cabinet accepted a proposal from the Busselton Flood Management Steering Committee to ensure the Busselton community be protected from 1 in 100 year rainfall events. This plan included the construction of large compensating basins and reconstructing the banks of the Vasse Diversion Drain.

Since then, we have been working towards this goal, having completed the construction of three compensating basins and reviews of local drainage needs. We have now determined the essential next step is to increase the capacity of the Vasse Diversion Drain while reconstructing the levee banks and building an overflow structure where the drain meets the Vasse River.

Have your say

In December 2019, we set up pop-up project information booths. We spoke to over 100 residents to better understand how people use the drain and any concerns they had about construction or eventual changes to the drain, before finalising our design and construction plan.

We listened to this community feedback and have developed a plan with solutions and strategies. This plan can be found in the Document Library. We also shared this plan at our our pop-up project information booths in February 2020 and continued our discussions with the community to refine it and create more opportunities to work with local groups and experts.

In September 2020, we again invited the community along to our project information booths, and provided an update on our environmental management plans and the outcomes of our environmental approvals.

Over the course of this consultation, we had face to face conversations with over 15 local groups and more than 200 community members to help inform how the project will be delivered.

Please take a look through the information on this page and use the tabs below to fill out our survey or ask us a question using the Q&A tool and we'll be sure to get back to you.

Water Corporation is planning to upgrade the Vasse Diversion Drain to increase flood protection in Busselton. Floods have continued to affect the Busselton community since the drain was built in the 1920’s, and although we have been making smaller modifications to the Busselton drainage system to mitigate flooding, these options have now run out.

The Vasse Diversion Drain starts just North of the Busselton Golf Course (refer to map under Document Library) and extends for around 6.3 km north to the ocean at Geographe Bay. It diverts water from the Vasse & Sabina rivers to prevent them overflowing and flooding Busselton.

In November 2000, State Cabinet accepted a proposal from the Busselton Flood Management Steering Committee to ensure the Busselton community be protected from 1 in 100 year rainfall events. This plan included the construction of large compensating basins and reconstructing the banks of the Vasse Diversion Drain.

Since then, we have been working towards this goal, having completed the construction of three compensating basins and reviews of local drainage needs. We have now determined the essential next step is to increase the capacity of the Vasse Diversion Drain while reconstructing the levee banks and building an overflow structure where the drain meets the Vasse River.

Have your say

In December 2019, we set up pop-up project information booths. We spoke to over 100 residents to better understand how people use the drain and any concerns they had about construction or eventual changes to the drain, before finalising our design and construction plan.

We listened to this community feedback and have developed a plan with solutions and strategies. This plan can be found in the Document Library. We also shared this plan at our our pop-up project information booths in February 2020 and continued our discussions with the community to refine it and create more opportunities to work with local groups and experts.

In September 2020, we again invited the community along to our project information booths, and provided an update on our environmental management plans and the outcomes of our environmental approvals.

Over the course of this consultation, we had face to face conversations with over 15 local groups and more than 200 community members to help inform how the project will be delivered.

Please take a look through the information on this page and use the tabs below to fill out our survey or ask us a question using the Q&A tool and we'll be sure to get back to you.

  • Preliminary work commencing 26 October 2020

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    15 Oct 2020
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    Preliminary work on the upgrade project is due to commence 26 October, 2020.

    Due to the community amenity and environmental significance of the area, several activities need to occur prior to the upgrade work commencing to reduce the impact of construction.

    This preliminary work involves:

    • Installation of fencing around vegetation areas to be protected,
    • Installation of fauna shelters and possum bridges,
    • Geotechnical investigations on the College Avenue pedestrian bridge,
    • Extension of the pedestrian pathway on the west side of the drain (running behind properties on Carter St) to Moore St
    • Environmental surveys and sampling,
    • Establishment of site facilities and
    • Clearing of vegetation.

    This work will be undertaken by various authorised contractors on behalf of Water Corporation including Vasse Joint Venture (VJV); a joint venture between Westforce and JWI Contractors, Tranen Environmental and Bamford Consulting Ecologists.

    Where is this happening?

    Majority of this preliminary work will take place between Bussell Hwy and Busselton Bypass. Please refer to the maps enclosed.

    The possum bridges and fauna shelters will be installed in bushland along the length of the drain in locations selected by fauna specialists.

    Surveys will be undertaken as required along the length of the drain.

    How long will this take?

    Work will take place Monday to Saturday between 7am – 6pm from 26 October and will continue for up to 2 weeks. If required, work may occur on a Sunday in order to avoid any unforeseen delays to project completion.

    What are the impacts?

    As with most work, you may experience increased levels of noise and dust while this work takes place.

    As the site is near to school commute routes, we will endeavour to minimise vehicle and machinery movements during school commute times. Some parts of the levee bank will be closed while light vehicles and machinery are moved into the area.

    The area that will be cleared runs alongside bush land that will remain in place. It is therefore unlikely that wildlife will leave the area during this work; however we will be installing signage encouraging the slow movement of traffic in nearby streets as a precaution.

    Environmental experts will be present while clearing takes place and will keep an eye on wildlife movement. If you see a lost or distressed animal that you believe is related to this work, please contact Community Engagement Advisor, Sarah Bennett on (08) 9420 2587 or sarah.bennett@watercorporation.com.au

  • Sharing our plans: Final design and re-vegetation plan

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    The project team at Water Corporation have this week published two key documents for the project in the Document Library so now is your chance to take a look.

    These documents are:

    • A draft re-vegetation plan (pending approval from our environmental regulators)
      • To offset environmental impacts the project may have on the local environment and to improve amenity and aesthetics of the area, Water Corporation is planning to re-vegetate over 10 ha of land in the immediate vicinity of the drain. This document outlines how we plan to do this with over 15 zones hosting unique mixes of plants to improve the diversity of the ecosystem. The plan is awaiting final approvals from environmental regulators.
    • Final designs of the new drain
      • A design for the new drain including key features like gauging stations and the overflow structure is now available for download. If you live adjacent to the drain, you will receive more information about this via post.

    We invite you to drop-by one of our pop-up project information booths to learn more and talk with us about these documents and the project in general. This will be the last opportunity to have an informal chat to our team before work gets underway!

    Sessions will be held:

    Saturday 12 September

    8am – 12pm

    Busselton Community Garden Market

    48/50 Strelly Street, Busselton

    Sunday 13 September

    7am – 12pm

    Busselton Rotary Market

    Signal Park, Busselton





    We hope to see you there!

  • DWER Clearing Permit Advertised

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    14 Jul 2020

    After the Water Corporation submitted the final environmental approvals documentation in March 2020, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) completed their Assessment of the Vasse Diversion Drain Upgrade Project and advertised CPS8191/1 Permit online. The clearing footprint for the project is 2.16 ha which includes 0.55 ha of temporary clearing. The permit, decision report and associated plans are now available in the Document Library under the "Environmental Approvals" folder.

    The project will be delivering a 10.34 ha environmental offset, located in the immediate vicinity of the drain. The offset will improve the local amenity whilst delivering improved ecological outcomes for the rare flora, fauna and priority ecological community located in and around the drain. A Revegetation Plan is being developed, in consultation with the City of Busselton, DWER, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and subject matter experts including Tranen (local Revegetation Consultants), Prof Kingsley Dixon (Restoration Ecology and Floristic Specialist) and Mike Bamford (Fauna Specialist).

    The project is now being assessed at the Federal level by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, with a decision expected in August 2020.

    The DWER Permit has been advertised for on the DWER Clearing Permits website https://www.der.wa.gov.au/our-work/clearing-permits/clearing-permits-available-for-public-appeal.

  • Final documentation submitted to (State) Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and (Federal) Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

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    07 May 2020

    The Water Corporation project team recently submitted the final supporting documentation to Department of Environmental Regulation and the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for assessment of our clearing permit application.

    This included a reduction in our clearing footprint, with the permanent clearing footprint for the project now 1.56 ha along the 5.5 km length of the drain corridor to be upgraded. An additional 0.6 ha of temporary clearing for maintenance and reinstatement of two local government swale drains is also included in our submission.

    The submission includes a clearing offset proposal which continues to be reviewed by our team and negotiated with stakeholders. The final offset proposal and re-vegetation plan is currently on track to be completed in June 2020.

    The supporting document is now available in the Document Library under Environmental surveys and supporting information.

    If you have any queries or concerns, please contact Community Engagement Advisor, Sarah Bennett using the details provided on the project page.

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  • Inviting EOIs from contractors and subcontractors

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    08 Apr 2020

    Water Corporation is seeking a construction contractor working with an engineering consultant and other organisations that can deliver proposed upgrades to the Vasse Diversion Drain in Busselton. The Applicants should be construction contractors partnered with engineering design organisations.

    Interested contractors are encouraged to visit watercorporation.com.au/suppliers to register as a Water Corporation supplier or bidder. Please be aware, this may take up to five working days to process. Bid documents will be available to registered contractors from 8 April 2020 until 30 April 2020.

    It is mandatory that all bidders are granted Water Corporation Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Prequalification, at the level nominated in the bid invitation, before contract award. This application can be lodged via the Water Corporation website.

    You can register interest as a subcontractor via this project webpage under "Surveys & Forms".

    We’re looking for contractors and subcontractors who are based in the South West especially, so please encourage anyone based down there to register.

    Enquires should be directed to Janet Dahl on (08) 9420 3985 or Janet.Dahl@watercorporation.com.au

  • Sharing our plan

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    09 Mar 2020
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    In December, we spoke to over 100 residents to better understand how people use the drain and any concerns they had about construction or eventual changes to the drain, before finalising our design and construction plan.

    We then developed solutions and strategies to address community feedback. These were shared recently at two pop-up project information booths on 22 and 23 February 2020.

    We spoke with around 65 people about the project, and were pleased to see many community members who visited us the first time return for an update. The response was very positive and local people are keen to see Water Corporation deliver the project while managing impacts on transport routes, surrounding properties and the environment.

    We have made this information available in the Document Library section on the project homepage, along with a range of other project information.

    We will be back with an update when the final design of the upgrade is complete. To receive updates via email, please email Community.Engagement@watercorporation.com.au with your details and "Vasse Diversion Drain" in the subject line.

  • Project planning with the community

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    16 Dec 2019
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    We recently set out to speak face to face with the Busselton community to make sure their concerns about the project are addressed early.

    The project team set up information booths in Busselton on 30 November and 1 December at Bunnings and the Foreshore Markets.

    We spoke with over 100 Busselton locals over the weekend and received some valuable feedback. Many people shared their eagerness to see improvements in flood protection for Busselton and told us stories of previous flood events.

    People also shared with us their concerns about the project. Common concerns included:

    · Walking/Transport routes over and along the drain during construction

    · Construction impacts like dust, noise and vibrations on nearby homes

    · Environmental impacts

    · Aesthetics of the drain when construction is complete

    · Integrated management of drains and rivers

    We are now working through these concerns to ensure they are addressed in our engineering designs and construction plans. We’ll be back in touch in early 2020 with the outcomes.




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