Avoiding a stink at lake that’s pink

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Chinese visitors are arriving at the Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) in increasing numbers this season.
Camera IconChinese visitors are arriving at the Hutt Lagoon (Pink Lake) in increasing numbers this season. Credit: Geoff Vivian Midwest Times

As the Chinese Year of the Rat approaches, Northampton Shire plans to hire 14 portable toilets to cope with an influx of Chinese tourists at the Pink Lake.

Shire president Craig Simkin said they had been told to expect 200 coachloads of visitors over the 13-day Chinese New Year period from January 22 to February 5.

He said luckily the Shire had been able to secure a grant to hire the portable toilets at short notice late last month after hearing of the expected influx from the Mid West Development Commission.

“I’m a little bit disappointed at the coach lines and Tourism WA for not giving us the heads-up as soon as possible,” he said.

“The Shire had to go into an active mode and it was going to cost $29,000 to secure the portable dunnies for the duration, so I made some phone calls and some money landed on our lap.”

Cr Simkin said the Pink Lake had become increasingly popular with mainland Chinese visitors, who came to take photographs of themselves and each other.

“They bring their wedding dresses,” he said.

“They go to Nature’s Window, put their wedding dress back on, take another picture and go home.”

Northampton Shire has been working for some time to get proper parking and toilet facilities for the visitors.

“At Easter time, there was 54 cars there. It will be interesting to see what happens into the next couple of weeks,” Mr Simkin said.

“I don’t think 10 Portaloos will cope but we’ll have to see what happens.”

When the Midwest Times visited late last month, there were still no toilets along the scenic natural attraction.

The Shire has installed non-English language signs directing visitors to toilets at nearby Port Gregory.

Northampton Shire and the Mid West Development Commission have been trying for several years to get adequate toilet facilities and parking for Pink Lake visitors.

They have been hampered by lack of funds, and the fact the Shire does not own or control the land.

The area, which tourists frequent, is partly owned by Main Roads.

Part of the site is vacant crown land.

The Midwest Times understands the portable toilets will be serviced daily with two staff in attendance 24/7 while they are in place, and all waste is to be removed to Geraldton for treatment.

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