Walpole water

In June 2018 we partnered with Western Australian company ManukaLife to deliver a sharefarming project in Walpole. This project involves an area of our land within the water catchment being planted with Leptospermum scoparium, a species of tea tree, for honey production for medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical products. This meets our requirement to revegetate this portion of land which helps protect our water catchment.

Based on the feedback we received at a drop in session in August 2018 and due to wet weather conditions making it difficult to plant, we made the decision to pause the project .

The Federal Department assessed the initiative on matters of national environmental significance and in June 2019 Water Corporation undertook a modified approach to the sharefarming project, reducing the area being planted from 220 to 50 hectares, with just 10 hectares within the Drinking Water Catchment Protection Zone.

How can you get involved?

Thank you for sharing your views. The survey closed on 18 November 2018 .

You can download a PDF summary of the feedback via our documents library. Your feedback was considered as an important part of our planning for Walpole.

Although our survey has closed, you can still connect with us for future updates or send us questions to be answered privately by emailing community.engagement@watercorporation.com.au

Further updates about the consultation process and opportunities to have your say will be published as they are made available. By registering your details, you will stay informed and continue to input feedback as we progress. You can also leave a public comment or question below.

You can also leave a public comment or question below.

In June 2018 we partnered with Western Australian company ManukaLife to deliver a sharefarming project in Walpole. This project involves an area of our land within the water catchment being planted with Leptospermum scoparium, a species of tea tree, for honey production for medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutraceutical products. This meets our requirement to revegetate this portion of land which helps protect our water catchment.

Based on the feedback we received at a drop in session in August 2018 and due to wet weather conditions making it difficult to plant, we made the decision to pause the project .

The Federal Department assessed the initiative on matters of national environmental significance and in June 2019 Water Corporation undertook a modified approach to the sharefarming project, reducing the area being planted from 220 to 50 hectares, with just 10 hectares within the Drinking Water Catchment Protection Zone.

How can you get involved?

Thank you for sharing your views. The survey closed on 18 November 2018 .

You can download a PDF summary of the feedback via our documents library. Your feedback was considered as an important part of our planning for Walpole.

Although our survey has closed, you can still connect with us for future updates or send us questions to be answered privately by emailing community.engagement@watercorporation.com.au

Further updates about the consultation process and opportunities to have your say will be published as they are made available. By registering your details, you will stay informed and continue to input feedback as we progress. You can also leave a public comment or question below.

You can also leave a public comment or question below.

Share your views or ask us questions.

Questions and Answers

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  • Manuka Life is bringing Spraying of a chemical and planting a foreign species in the Walpole Wilderness with only thought to profit and not the community. I cannot see any opportunities for employment for local people or benefits to assist the town

    Colin Steele asked about 1 year ago

    Thanks for your feedback.

    The Department of Health has approved a single hand-held application of herbicide containing glyphosate to be applied before the trees are planted and under strict conditions to ensure the protection of water quality.

    These conditions are in line with the Department of Health’s PSC 88 Use of herbicides in water catchments areas and we will continue regular water quality monitoring to ensure all Australian Drinking Water Guidelines are met.

    It is worth noting that PSC 88 and any associated approval processes only apply to Government agencies and significantly exceeds the requirements for non WA Government landholders making use of herbicides in water catchments.

    The project has already provided some local employment and we anticipate there will be other opportunities for seasonal and ongoing work as part of ongoing plant and land management activities.

  • Why did the Water Corporation sign a contract with ManukaLife before approval from the health dept for spraying glyphosate in a water catchment area was obtained (psc88) Why was the contract signed before any community consultation was undertaken? Why was the contract signed before any environmental impact assessments were undertaken? Which department will monitor and report on bee swarms? Who will monitor and ensure your share-farm partners adhere to the health department approval for spraying? What weed assessments have taken place with the proposed hybrid? How does this project fit within the Walpole Wilderness management plan? Has any self-referral been undertaken to the EPA?

    Bree Burton asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback and questions.

    We acknowledge there is community interest in this project and the pause of the project until next autumn will allow us the opportunity to ensure community consultation and input is reflected wherever possible in the project delivery. 

    The use of glyphosate in Public Drinking Water Source Areas in accordance with Department of Health’s PSC 88 Use of herbicides in water catchments areas is permitted without approval. However, as an extra measure the project was referred to the Department of Health and a single hand-held application was endorsed in July 2018.

    We can assure you that any use of herbicides will be in line with the Department of Health’s PSC 88 and we will continue regular water quality monitoring.

    PSC88 and any associated approval processes only apply to Government agencies and significantly exceeds the requirements for non-WA Government landholders making use of herbicides in water catchments.

    While our agreement with ManukaLife is confidential, as are all commercial agreements, it provides a mechanism for ensuring all necessary approvals are in place, which includes planning, environmental approvals and any monitoring required of the project.

    The Walpole Wilderness Management Plan applies to National Parks, conservation parks and nature reserves. The proposed revegetation sites are on Water Corporation property outside the Walpole Wilderness area, but some are in the Walpole Weir Catchment Area.  The responsibility for the regulation, protection and management of water resources in the Catchment Area rests with the Department of Water.

    The ManukaLife project is in line with Department of Water’s Walpole Weir Catchment Area Drinking water source protection review 2016 which suggests we ‘consider destocking and revegetating the land, pending the finalisation of long-term plans for Walpole’s future water supply, and wastewater planning.’


  • Its good to see alternative land uses in the District, diversification is positive. I see some real positives in terms of the environment as long as some checks and balances are put in place particularly around the spread of manuka off site. Site preparation using glysophate is not an issue for me, I understand good establishment requires weed control, besides I think the overall chemical use in this case is far less than what may be happening in the traditional farming activities surrounding this proposal. I think its a very long bow to draw saying this proposal will damage the inlet systems and wilderness, my view is it will have a positive effect. I would like to see the land owner and proponent of the proposal try and direct as much work and expenditure towards the local community/businesses as possible. GOOD LUCK - Wayne Burton

    Wayne Burton asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback Wayne.


  • I do not think it is appropriate that a government authority should be involved in a joint veture with a commercial enterprise that has the potential to effect public health and change the environment.

    Ken Davey asked about 1 year ago

    Thank you for your feedback. 

    Our core business is delivering safe, reliable and sustainable water to customers throughout WA, for households, communities and industry. We believe that the ManukaLife project will provide an positive environmental benefit by providing additional vegetation in the water catchment to improve water quality for the long term. 

    Under the Water Corporations Act 1995, we are required to act on commercial principles and we are continuously finding new ways to be cost efficient and for innovative partnerships that can help achieve our objectives.