Warriup Swamp-Lake Mullocullup

About This Campaign

Sadly, at the very end of March 2019, the State Government announced that the Department of Transport would proceed with the gazettal of Warriup Swamp-Lake Mullocullup for recreational water-skiing.

Diane wrote last year to the City of Albany and the Minister for Lands, Planning and Transport expressing objection of the gazettal, urging the City and the Minister to listen to the local Aboriginal people, respect the significance of the area and preserve such an important cultural and historical site.

These appeals to Minister Saffioti and an Albany council, whose own report described their consultation on the matter “a mess”, were not heeded. The State Government has capitulated to the desires of a small number of water-skiers who have illegally used the lake for three-and-a-half decades, while sacred cultural significance has been virtually ignored. Other recreation skiing options remain available, but cultural history is uniquely precious.

The fight to reverse this decision continues, with upcoming local government elections and the City’s responsibility to now manage the site for recreational use both posing opportunities to press for a different outcome.

For those affected in the Noongar community, as well as local landowners, this has been a poor outcome of bureaucratic box-ticking.

Key Points

  • Lake Mullocullup was added to the list of 41 registered sites under the Aboriginal Heritage Act last year and retains immense historical and spiritual values to Noongar people.
  • The lake continues to be used regularly for cultural and spiritual activities for Noongar people, and has been both a birthing site and watering place on their near-500 kilometre treks from Albany to Esperance.
  • Illegal water-skiing and boat use has occurred at the lake for over 35 years but will now fall under the purview of DoT to ensure the site is safe and accessible.
  • Petition tabled in Parliament on October 28, 2019.

Activity

Diane met with Noongar Elder and local community members to visit Lake Mullocullup.

Diane wrote last year to the City of Albany and the Minister for Lands, Planning and Transport expressing objection of the gazettal, urging the City and the Minister to listen to the local Aboriginal people, respect the significance of the area and preserve such an important cultural and historical site.

Diane has made a Member’s Statement and asked questions in Parliament.

In October of 2019 Diane presented a petition to Parliament on behalf of those in the community opposed to the recent gazettal of Lake Mullocullop in for the purpose of water skiing.

“The decision highlights a moral deficiency in the box-ticking processes government departments abide by, where they do not have to consider their interconnection with other departments, and operate in silos.

“What is just as upsetting is the City of Albany escalating the matter to state level on the back of a split council decision after pitiful consultation took place with Noongar people.

“It was so bad that another consultant would later explain just how deficient the first consultation had been.

“Instead of taking responsibility and stopping water-skiing when the City had the authority to do so, those councillors who voted in favour of the gazette ignored our First Nations People in favour of an illegal activity normalised by 35 years of turning a blind eye.”

Diane Evers

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