Lake gazettal contested

OPPONENTS have vowed to fight on after the State last week controversially announced the gazettal of Lake Mullocullup east of Albany for water skiing.

Whether to ask the Department of Transport to gazette the small lake near Green Range sparked more debate at Albany city council meetings last year than any other matter.

Department spokesman Mark Briant said skiers would now be allowed to skim across the lake’s surface from 9am to 5pm.

Lake Mullocullup
Carol Pettersen relishes the challenge ahead. Photo: Chris Thomson

He said skiing would be banned within 30 metres of the shore and if the water level fell below 1.5 metres. The lake’s western and northern areas will be closed to motorised boats at all times.

Skiers had used the lake illegally for more than 35 years before the City banned motorised craft in 2015.

“Safety was a key consideration in progressing the gazettal and it was also confirmed that water skiing is allowed on a registered site under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972,” Mr Briant said.

Last year the lake was listed under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.

The Department has asked the City to assess launch facilities, and access and waste disposal arrangements for the lake.

Greens WA MLC for South West Diane Evers expressed anger that it will only be after a need for signs or infrastructure is determined that approval by the State’s Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee will be required.

She said she hoped the rights of Noongar people would be upheld as the State now had a responsibility to the health and safety of skiers it cannot uphold without ACMC consent.

“We now have a ridiculous scenario where an activity is deemed appropriate in spite of cultural considerations, and facilitating safe use may not be possible if those considerations are subsequently addressed,” she said.

Noongar Elder Carol Pettersen, whose grandmother was born at the lake, said she would continue to fight for a permanent ban on skiing.

Categories: Albany, ENVIRONMENT

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