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Protect Pink Lake!

The Shire, in partnership with Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) Rangers, are about to start work on a project to rebuild and maintain protective structures around Pink Lake. The project will preserve this important site as it begins an exciting phase of rehabilitation.

Pink Lake is a significant place to Wudjari Nyungar people with enduring social, cultural and spiritual importance as a place of Sacred Norn Dreaming. It is also a place of shared significance with the broader Esperance community, an iconic feature in the landscape that local European settlers adopted as a unique part of their identity.

The Lake remains broadly recognised in Australia and globally despite the visible changes to its health. As a treasured community asset it is well worth protecting for ourselves and future generations.

Over the coming months our teams will fix damaged fencing, and update and install interpretive signage explaining the significance of the Lake from a cultural and historical perspective. The fencing will again block vehicle access to the Lake. It is important for this ecosystem to remain undisturbed, and for the beauty of the area to be enjoyed on foot or from the convenient lookout and carparks around the edge.

From the perspective of Wudjari Nyungar people, Pink Lake and the ecosystem to which it belongs is a landscape of great cultural and biodiversity value, requiring careful and attentive collaborative management by all parties invested in the Lake’s long-term health and well-being.

The involvement of the Shire corresponds with the Shire Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), developed to pursue community aspirations and ensure greater visibility and promotion of First Nations peoples’ cultures and connection to country. The following action areas from the RAP are applicable to Pink Lake:

  • Cultural interpretation / promotion through art, interpretative materials and information in public spaces including those with high tourist visitation
  • Negotiate land access, heritage protection, joint management agreement with Native Title Holders
  • Develop framework for Traditional Owners consultation for Shire led ‘on country’ works
  • Consider joint management opportunities with Traditional Owners for culturally sensitive areas
  • Assist with promotion and increased awareness of Traditional Owner’s Native Title rights and interests through the wider community

Shire of Esperance Councillors and staff received instructions from the community in the form of the Shire of Esperance Council Plan earlier this year. The Plan was finalised after an extensive community consultation process, and also supports this project, revealing widespread support for Outcome 4: ‘The natural environment is valued, protected and enjoyed’. Specific directions to ‘Sustainably care for, preserve and enhance natural habitats’ and ‘Partner with Traditional Owners to manage culturally sensitive nature reserves’ highlights local environmental concerns, and how our community wants the Shire to respond.

This partnership with ETNTAC to protect Pink Lake is separate to the project to restore the pink colour to the Lake and will put important infrastructure in place, facilitating the next exciting developments for Pink Lake’s restoration.