Volunteers to clean up litter at Hutt Lagoon in ‘silent protest’

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Clean-up Cam: Tourist operator Cameron Williams is hoping the masses will turn up on Saturday to help him clean-up Pink Lake near Port Gregory.
Camera IconClean-up Cam: Tourist operator Cameron Williams is hoping the masses will turn up on Saturday to help him clean-up Pink Lake near Port Gregory. Credit: Peter Sweeney, Midwest Times.

A Mid West tourism operator is taking matters into his own hands to clean up litter and educate visitors at Hutt Lagoon.

Midwest Adventure Tours owner Cameron Williams said he was “ashamed” of the state of Port Gregory’s famous Pink Lake.

“It embarrassed me to be taking paying customers out there and there was rubbish everywhere,” he said.

“It’s mainly toilet paper; people are just defecating in the scrub.”

On Saturday, Mr Williams and a small group of volunteers will clean up the site.

They will also erect a make-shift sign informing visitors where the nearest toilets are and encouraging them not to litter.

The temporary fix is part of a visitor management plan being developed by Mr Williams and environmental consultant Indre Asmussen.

“This is like a silent protest; it’s us getting out there and saying that we’re interested in this piece of land and we want some changes made,” Mr Williams said.

“It is a massive tourist attraction. It needs to be presentable and it needs to be maintained.

“We hope that in the future, funding will cover appropriate signage, pathways, introducing new plant growth and management of the land.”

Hutt Lagoon 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.

Previous enquiries by The Midwest Timesfound no Government department would claim responsibility for site management.

“We thought we’d start something until they sort out the governance,” Dr Asmussen said.

“Cameron consulted the Shire of Northampton ... but it’s not under their jurisdiction, so their hands are tied.”

Among the volunteers on Saturday will be a group of teenage boys involved in a mentor program at Geraldton PCYC.

Centre manager Talya Quinn said the program aimed to get the boys involved in community work.

“It’s about creating positive role models for the boys to look up to, giving them challenges, and teaching them to give back to their community,” she said.

To help with the clean-up, contact Mr Williams on 0401 289 936.

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