Positive health and well-being benefits to West Wimmera residents through increased access to recreational water

Oct 09, 2017 News

The Wimmera Southern Mallee Socio-Economic Value of Recreation and Environmental Water 2017 study, released last month uncovers the economic and social value that recreational water brings to communities across the region.

The study a joint initiative of the Wimmera CMA, the Wimmera Development Association, GWM Water and Wimmera Southern Mallee Councils, was undertaken to capture the economic and social contribution made by the local weirs, lakes and rivers to the region.

Three West Wimmera Shire sites were included as part of this valuable study, Lake Charlegrark, Glenelg River in Harrow and Lake Wallace. The results clearly demonstrated that access to reliable volumes of recreational water has an extremely positive economic impact to our communities. The study has shown that recreational water contributes an estimated total of $2,619.160.00 to the West Wimmera Shire economy with $501,468 attributed to supplier and events at these sites and a further $1,266,739.00 directly from recreational water users.

Access to local recreational water has also provided significant social and health benefits to our communities with people's wellbeing considerably improved by state of their local environment.

West Wimmera Shire Councillors have taken the opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the study and welcomed the demonstrated health benefits to both physical and mental health that were presented in the study as a direct result of increased access to recreational water.

"Being able to promote the social and health benefit as well as place a calculated dollar value to it, will form the basis of strong case when advocating for the provision of recreational water" said Mayor Bruce Meyer.

The intention of the study becoming a longitudinal exercise was also encouraged and well supported by Councillors. West Wimmera Shire CEO, David Leahy stated in his report that the intended longitudinal approach to the study will provide consistency to the measurement data and allow for seasonal patterns to identified and accounted for. This will enable a more accurate beneficial impact to be demonstrated.

These statistics and outcomes will be a valuable asset for Council to assist with stronger funding applications as well as providing strong factual data in the development of advocacy documents for various activities.

The study a joint initiative of the Wimmera CMA, the Wimmera Development Association, GWM Water and Wimmera Southern Mallee Councils, was undertaken to capture the economic and social contribution made by the local weirs, lakes and rivers to the regional economy. Managed by Street Ryan consultants, users and passive visitors of 24 waterways across the Wimmera Southern Mallee were consulted, collecting important data and insights on the value of recreational water.

The study is available on our Regional Plans webpage.

Further enquiries contact: David Leahy | Chief Executive Officer | 03 5585 9900

© West Wimmera Shire Council 2017. All rights reserved.