A sad case of environmental neglect

Lake Hattah, Victoria, June 2011

Sydney Trip June 2011

In recent days I have written about our short stay in the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park in north west Victoria earlier this year. This was on the last day of our holiday staying with family in Sydney.

We had lunch on the shore of Lake Hattah. This park, and the lake in particular, is one of our favourite places. We’ve had many wonderful weeks camping here. This included many hours canoeing the network of lakes which fill when the nearby River Murray is in flood. Sadly this area, and the catchment area for the river system has been in drought for many years. The lakes have suffered terribly as a result of this lack of water.

This is a Ramsar site – you can read some details on the photo of one of the signs near Lake Hattah. The managers of the national parks can do little about a drought, that I will grant. But to allow the lakes, camping grounds, picnic areas and other amenities to deteriorate like they are at present is a deplorable state of affairs. At best, I would describe it as environmental neglect. I could be really nasty and call it more like environmental vandalism. Lack of governmental funding is probably an element as well.

Sure – the whole region suffered during the drought, and the irrigators would have been demanding all the water they could get. But if we are to have sites like this listed as Ramsar sites – international agreements on environmental protection – then it has to backed up with action – not mere tokenism, posturing and hollow words.

Lake Hattah, Victoria, June 2011