Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley calls for lakeside camping to be reinstated at Lake Navarino

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Luke McPhersonHarvey-Waroona Reporter
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Camping was permitted on the shores of Lake Navarino until January 2021.
Camera IconCamping was permitted on the shores of Lake Navarino until January 2021. Credit: Sandy Hudson/Sandy Hudson

Shire of Waroona president Mike Walmsley has called for lakeside camping to be reinstated at Lake Navarino, but admitted residents could still have to wait another two years for any progress.

The land around the dam was rented and managed by the Lake Navarino Holiday Park until January 5, when it announced on Facebook that camping would be prohibited permanently due to “anti-social behaviour and hooning for public safety reasons”.

The dam had been the scene of a string of incidents over the years leading up to the closure of camping, with an assault in 2018 and the death of a Mandurah man in 2019.

Cr Walmsley said the Shire was talking with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions about taking over management of the dam, which would allow campers to return.

A group of 4wds.
Camera IconA group of 4wds. Credit: Imagery Scott Montgomery/Imagery Scott Montgomery

“They are going to be taking over control of it at some stage, but they are in no rush for it either,” he said. “The Waroona Dam is an iconic tourist spot, it is highly valued as a freshwater ski lake and we want it to be well-visited.”

Cr Walmsley said facilities at the dam were run down and he hoped when the DBCA took over, it would put some money into reinvigorating them.

“The facilities up there are antiquated, and well and truly past their used-by date,” he said.

A man fishing at the Waroona Dam.
Camera IconA man fishing at the Waroona Dam.

“The DBCA have been pretty upfront in saying they haven’t got any funding to do anything.”

Cr Walmsley said if lakeside camping was to be reinstated, it needed to be safe, as it had been prone to overcrowding, anti-social behaviour and littering during busy periods.

“(We also want) appropriate management around people, rangers looking after people and making sure people are behaving in the way we would expect,” he said. “It could be some time before we see camping back up there and to seeing the facilities upgraded.”

The police and the Department of Parks and Wildlife reportedly came to the decision last year that it was becoming too dangerous for lakeside camping to continue.

Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley said the dam had experienced overcrowding.
Camera IconWaroona Shire president Mike Walmsley said the dam had experienced overcrowding. Credit: Imagery Scott Montgomery/Imagery Scott Montgomery

The dam is located on unallocated crown land and is influenced by six organisations including the Water Corporation, Shire of Waroona and the State Government.

Cr Walmsley said the operation of the dam had always been contentious due to the number of stakeholders involved.

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