Rubbish state of care at lake

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Adam Poulsen

A Ger­ald­ton en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tant wants to launch a project to bet­ter man­age nat­u­ral re­sources and “un­reg­u­lated” vis­i­tor ac­cess at Hutt La­goon.

Dr In­dre As­mussen, right, said the world-fa­mous tourism at­trac­tion suf­fered from poor man­age­ment and “un­re­solved gover­nance”.

“We need to re­tain our iconic Pink Lake, I’m ashamed of how we’re treat­ing it,” she said. “Many peo­ple — in­clud­ing tourism op­er­a­tors — say it’s an is­sue that needs im­prove­ment.”

Though Hutt La­goon is mar­keted as a ma­jor at­trac­tion, in­clud­ing on the Tourism Aus­tralia web­site, crit­ics have pointed out it lacks the fa­cil­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date the flood of tourists it at­tracts, such as carparks, toi­lets and rubbish bins.

The site lies on var­i­ous land tenures, in­clud­ing crown land leases, re­serves, un­al­lo­cated crown land and a ded­i­cated pub­lic road. Part of the area is leased to Ger­man chem­i­cal pro­ducer BASF for the pro­duc­tion of nat­u­ral beta carotene.

But a re­port by The Mid­west Times last month about lit­ter prob­lems at the site found no Gov­ern­ment depart­ment, nor the Shire of Northamp­ton, would claim re­spon­si­bil­ity for its man­age­ment.

“We have to sort out some kind of gover­nance,” Dr As­mussen said. “It needs to have proper vis­i­tor ac­cess, maybe bins, and signs say­ing where the near­est toi­let is.”

Ger­ald­ton Air Char­ters’ man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Wendy Mann, who reg­u­larly flies tourists over the lake, said it had be­come a “must-see” des­ti­na­tion.

“I be­lieve the view­ing ar­eas need to be ex­tended to al­low safe ac­cess for the many visitors want­ing to see the Pink Lake from the ground and more sig­nage is needed . . . in lan­guages other than English, and should def­i­nitely in­clude in­for­ma­tion in Man­darin and Can­tonese,” she said.

“In­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the nearby pub­lic toi­lets at Port Gre­gory and the great pic­nic ar­eas at the beach should be in­cluded. Bins and toi­lets in the view­ing area would be great.”

Dr As­mussen said a sur­vey of mi­gra­tory wad­ing birds that fre­quent Hutt La­goon dur­ing sum­mer should be car­ried out “to quan­tify its bi­o­log­i­cal and con­ser­va­tion val­ues”.

“It’s a spe­cial ecosys­tem,” she said.

Toi­let pa­per found lit­ter­ing the ground at Hutt La­goon.

Dr In­dre As­mussen

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