Wetlands Conference2020 WA Annual Wetland Management Conference

Call for Registrations

World Wetlands Day, 9am-4pm, Friday 31st January 2020

The Bendat Parent and Community Centre, 36 Dodd Street, Wembley, Western Australia



The Wetlands Centre Cockburn invites registrations for its 16th Annual WA Wetland Management Conference to be held adjacent to Lake Monger at The Bendat Parent and Community Centre, Wembley on Friday 31st January 2020 in celebration of World Wetlands Day, which commemorates the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on 2 February 1971.


The primary objective of the Conference is to provide an annual opportunity for the exchange of information and ideas between wetland practitioners with a focus on the latest developments about how to effectively manage and restore wetlands. The Conference is intended to bring together community conservation volunteers, landowners, educators, local and State Government officers and private sector environmental officers involved with wetland management.


This year’s theme follows the Ramsar theme for 2020 of ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’. Wetlands are rich with biodiversity and are a habitat for a dense variety of plant and animal species. Latest estimates show a global decline of biodiversity, while wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests. This year’s theme is a unique opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status, why it matters and promote actions to reverse its loss. Sub-themes include wetland management and restoration, wetland education and wetland policy.


Minimising impact The conference strives to minimise its environmental impact by encouraging delegates to car pool and bring their own water bottles. We also provide re-usable coffee mugs, glasses and plates, produce

e-program booklets and use recycled paper. We also encourage the display of promotional material on common tables or at exhibition spaces, rather than in conference kits, ensuring only interested persons take the relevant material.


A Conference Steering Committee assists The Wetland Centre’s Conference Organiser. The 2020 Committee includes staff and volunteer representatives from the following community, local and State Government organisations: City of Cockburn; The Wetlands Centre Cockburn; Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; State Wetlands Coordinating Committee; Western Australian Local Government Association and Wetlands Conservation Society Inc.


Sponsors Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, fees are kept to a minimum to enable all sectors of the community to attend.



Registrations Visit www.thewetlandscentre.org.au/events/wetlands-conference Registrations close 25 January 2020.



Conference Program
(*Denotes speaker, where there are multiple authors)
8.00am Registrations (come early for a cuppa and catchup with other wetlanders)
9.00am Opening remarks
  Emeritus Professor Philip Jennings, Wetlands Conservation Society Inc
9.05am Welcome to country
SESSION 1 Chairperson: Michael Hammond, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation
Keynote presentation
9.10am Managing and monitoring wetlands for biodiversity
  Associate Professor Mark Lund, Mine Water and Environment Research Centre, Edith Cowan University
Plenary presentations 1
9.40am Wetlands in Australian Painting
  Dr Rod Giblett, Honorary Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities,

Writing and Literature Program, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University


Farm dams as refuges for freshwater biodiversity in a drying climate

  *Dr Belinda J Robson1, Dr Edwin T Chester1, Ms Karen Warner2

1Murdoch University, 2Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council

Poster presentations 1
10.20am Australasian Bittern conservation in south-west Western Australia (title tbc)
  *Plaxy Barratt1, Vicki Stokes1, Sarah Comer2, Alan Clarke2 and Allan Burbidge2

1Birdlife WA

2Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

10.25am Horley Road Wetland rehabilitation: A couch dominated wetland to a Healthy Wetland Habitat
  *Dr Rose Weerasinghe1, *Karl Karu2, Catherine Williams1,3, Caitlin Conway1 and Darren O’Brien1

1South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare

2Urban Ecosystems

3East Metropolitan Regional Council (current)

10.30am Morning tea
SESSION 2  Chairperson: Ezgi Perincek, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
Plenary presentations 2
11.00am Fire and water quality – an emergent issue for wetland management
  *Professor Pierre Horwitz and Dr David Blake

Centre for Ecosystem Management, School of Science, Edith Cowan University

11.20am Point Fraser Wetlands
  *Karl Kjaerheim and Shelley Smith, City of Perth
11.40am Using empirical data at Muir-Byenup to show the seasonal impact of rainfall change
  Peter Muirden, KareelaWA
12noon Fortescue Marsh
  Hamish Robertson

Parks and Wildlife Service, Pilbara Region, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Poster presentations 2
12.20pm Linking art to wetlands: an aquatic synergy
  Basil Schur, Greenskills
12.25pm Turtle Trackers – Saving our snake-necked turtles
  *Anthony Santoro, Murdoch University

Vicky Hartill, City of Cockburn

12.30pm Lunch
Session 3 (Facilitator: Chris Beaton, City of Cockburn)
Panel discussion
1.30pm A facilitated discussion with a focus on policies and planning for wetlands and biodiversity conservation

Confirmed panel members

Dr Jane Chambers, Environmental and Conservation Sciences, Murdoch University

Loretta Van Gasselt, Planning Manager, Strategy and Engagement,  Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

Mark Batty, Executive Manager, Environment and Waste, Western Australian Local Government Association

Dr Michael Coote, Principal Coordinator, Wetlands Policy, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

2.30pm Afternoon tea
Session 4
Workshop concurrent session
2.50pm Workshop Session
WORKSHOP CHOICES (choice of 1 workshop)

Delegates can attend one workshop during the concurrent session. Please select two preferences from the following five workshops and number from 1 to 2 on the registration form (1 equals your highest preference). Workshops will be filled on a first-come basis following registration.

Workshop 1: Aquatic Weed management – tips, tricks and tools
Presenters:  Matt Grimbly, Environmental Services Manager, South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare
This workshop will look at identifying aquatic weeds, assessing the threat posed by these weeds and practical strategies for their control using a range of chemical and non-chemical methods. We will look at different case studies where a range of aquatic weeds have successfully been eradicated from waterways and wetlands. There will be time for discussing aquatic weed issues that participants may have and potential strategies that may be useful for controlling these weeds.
Workshop 2: Wetlands writing and storytelling
Presenter:  Dr Rod Giblett, Honorary Associate Professor of Environmental Humanities, Writing and Literature Program, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University


This workshop will discuss and practice writing that presents the diverse human and environmental values of wetlands. Rod will talk briefly about his recent books of fairy tales and his other writings about wetlands, including the oral history of Forrestdale Lake, a fictional wetland saga and wetland saints’ lives. He will invite participants to begin to write their own stories about a wetland, and then to share their story with a partner to help develop the story. With the consent of the writer, some willing participants will be given the option and opportunity of sharing their partner’s story with the group and inviting feedback from the whole group in a supportive and encouraging environment. Finally, possibilities and opportunities for publication will be discussed.

Workshop 3: Applying the methodology for the evaluation of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia
Presenters: Dr Michael Coote, Principal Coordinator and Fiona Felton, Environmental Officer,

Wetlands Conservation Section, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions.



The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) is the custodian of the wetland mapping dataset for the Swan Coastal Plain of Western Australia. Mapping including boundaries, types and management categories for wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain is publicly available by downloading the Geomorphic Wetlands Swan Coastal Plain dataset on Landgate’s “Locate” mapping platform. A methodology for the evaluation of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia provides a single, consistent method on how to evaluate wetlands across the Swan Coastal Plain. The outcome of the evaluation process for each wetland is the identification of a wetland management category. Wetland evaluation is the process of assessing a wetland’s values by considering information about its attributes (plants, animals, soil and water) and functions (the processes that support the attributes).

This workshop will introduce attendees to the current mapping of wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain and show how to apply the “Wetland Evaluation Methodology” to derive management categories of wetlands and where to find information to assist.

Workshop 4:  Frogs of the Swan Coastal Plain
Presenter: Denise Crosbie, Wetlands Officer, The Wetlands Centre Cockburn
Frogs are an important indicator of the health of the environment and enjoy a massive appeal with the broader community.  This workshop will focus on the frogs of the Swan Coastal Plain, their habitats and provide hints for wetland revegetation. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas for engaging the community to improve conservation outcomes for our local frogs.
Workshop 5: Nutrient stripping channels – the Lake Monger experience (site visit)
Presenter:  Sue Waite, Natural Environment Officer, Town of Cambridge
Lake Monger is an important urban wetland which receives significant storm water drainage. High nutrient input, the site’s contamination history and clearing of fringing vegetation resulted in poor water quality over time. The high level of nutrients and contaminants entering the lake via storm water prompted the installation of nutrient stripping channels and sediment ponds to the east of the lake in 1997. The workshop/site visit will look at establishment of the channels and ponds, their effectiveness in reducing nutrient and sediment loads and lessons learned over time. Please wear enclosed shoes and a hat and bring a water bottle.
4.00 pm Book launch followed by post-conference drinks and nibblies
Associate Professor Sandra Wooltorton will launch the book Australian Wetland Cultures co-edited by John Charles Ryan and Li Chen and published by Lexington Books. Contributors include Phillip Jennings, Rod Giblett, John Ryan and Danielle Brady, with poetry by John, Nandi Chinna, John Kinsella and Glen Phillips. The book is dedicated to Phillip Jennings in recognition of his work for wetland conservation in WA over many decades.
This Program may be subject to some changes prior to or during the conference.
Please help the environment – bring your own water bottle!