December 7, 2017 @ 12:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Peter Cowan Writers Centre Inc., ECU, Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia
Perth, initially praised by Captain Stirling for its abundant fresh water, now faces a critical shortage of water, reliant on desalination plants and depleted aquifers. Climate change, historic patterns of sprawling development and a massive influx of population attracted by the mining boom are noted culprits. But disdain for freshwater wetlands stretches from the earliest days of settlement, enabling the conversion of streams to sewers, marshes to suburban infill. It leads directly to the Barnett Government’s aborted plans for bulldozing Beeliar wetlands.
The story of Perth’s lakes and wetlands is, therefore, largely tragic, a 200 year history of infill, paving, draining, damming, over-building, covering and erasure.
Yet there is another, hidden story in the remaining lakes and wetlands, one of resilience and survival. The lost and forgotten lakes sustain what distinguishes Perth: its status as an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot. If this biodiversity can be nurtured by restoring wetland ecosystems, Perth may weather the combined effects of climate change and the estimated doubling of population by 2050.
But how can Perth recover and rewild its lost lacustrine ecosystems when the dominant wisdom, inscribed on every “Road to Recovery,” invests in extending the built environment? And how might Perth’s human culture be more enriched by rediscovering its watery past? Join distinguished scholars, writers and civic leaders for an afternoon of enquiry and discussion, followed by a guided tour of Joondalup Lake.