Lans9 months ago
It is heart wrenching when I come across people who have such hypocritical and limited opinions. It is a common attribute of people to want to destroy something they do not understand.
The very house, suburb, city you live and function in was once a local ecosystem, one that inflicted far greater “significant damage to the local ecosystem” than Wedge Island. The community’s (and individual shacks) current ecological footprint is FAR smaller than that of the average town of the same size. Power for the whole "permanent" community (mainly fisherman) is run from one generator. The generator runs for a select number of hours each day and then power is cut off. After that time people go without power, very happily. Water is collected in tanks (a natural cycle) and people get by with the bare minimum. You are right this community of hard working fisherman does "belong to a different time and a different place". It functions somewhat like that of communities in the past, ones that don't have to excavate land and ones that coexist with the natural habitat. Animals are not pushed out of towns like Wedge (such as in metropolitan areas), the surrounding shrub etc. is left how it is and it is evident in the numerous native animals that you frequently see in the middle of town and even within the shacks. Emu's, kangaroo's, bob tails, snakes live amongst the settlement and we coexist with them. I would question you to when the last time you had an emu in your back yard?
Think for a moment what the alternative would be for the fisherman who depend on these communities along the coast. They would be relocated to a coastal metropolitan town. A town like the one being built just South of Lancelin. The local habitat which is almost identical to that of Wedge has been flattened by machines, every tree, shrub, animal etc. has been either crushed or forced out. Nothing exists on this land except for the dirt. When the houses are built, there will be the odd tree planted, it will probably not be native or support any native fauna. There might even be a few palm trees. There will probably be green lawns and non native plants that people will use thousands of litres of precious water on to support because they are not native. The inhabitants of this town will rack up huge energy bills on television, computers. They will spend thousands of hours doing unnecessary tasks and accumulating unnecessary goods. Meanwhile at Wedge, I will be sitting in the dunes at night looking at the stars, because you can see so many at Wedge at night.
Take a look at the environmental damage from waste from the conventional building and construction industry, one which exists in “this time and this place”- one that builds the towns and cities like that of the one you live. It is one of the leading issues on the planet. The fumes emitted by the huge machinery and cranes to build houses and buildings. The Wedge community is a stark contrast to that. Shacks are built by hand, very few machines; in most cases none were used. The building materials for the shacks were often salvaged from the local tip and re-used again and again.
The unsealed roads at wedge are naturally carved into the land by traffic and the surrounding land is left untouched. When a track has been unused for a while flora begins to grow over it and I know of many a track that are completely covered, disappeared. How many roads in your towns would this happen to?
I agree there is some damage to the local ecosystem and that there has to be continuing improvements to a number of facets (as there have been before). I will argue however that it is far less significant to that of the average town supporting the same number of people. As I mentioned earlier the mud tracks will naturally return to how they were if not used for necessary traffic around town. The surrounding land to the tracks is untouched. The cars that drive on the dune system North of town, do affect the formation of the dunes. But they are in no way “damaged” just changed. They remain just as large and spectacular every time I go up. The shacks were built on top of mostly mud terrain and a few shack on the small dunes that run along the beach. The shacks are surrounded by unchanged vegetation the only affected was those in the direct area. When the shacks are eventually destroyed be it by government hands or the natural environment, the local ecosystem will have no difficulty taking back its space. Sadly I can definitely not say the same for that of the community you live in. That natural habitat is lost forever.
Every shack pays an annual fee to protect the land and most people in the community have put thousands of hours into keeping it safe and environmentally friendly. Thousands of people get to experience Wedge each year. Events are held and if you were to visit I am certain you would find a willing shack owner to lodge with for the night!
There are currently descendants of the native aboriginals living amongst the community. These individuals take a lot of pride in the community and shacks. They work with WIPA to ensure the environmental protection of Wedge.
Myself and I’m sure a huge portion of the community would like to see a lodging facility free of cost to the public (perhaps paid for by an increase the shack owners WIPA lease) as well as reinstate the local camping areas so that even more people could enjoy Wedge.
The topics I have written about barely scratch the surface of arguments for the protection of the community. I have explained how the preparation, building and current functioning of the community is far better for the environment than any metropolitan settlement of the same size. A huge community is able to function with minimal impact. How the settlement co-exists with the land and its inhabitants rather than completely dominating and destroying it, and how the damage to the local ecosystem is relatively far smaller than that of the average town supporting the same number of people. If more people lived in this minimal and simple way the “delicate local ecosystems” would be in a far better situation and I even bet you would be a happier person with an open mind, much less inclined to comment on topics that you have limited information about.
I hope this has swayed your opinion of the community and maybe even get you on board for protecting the current Wedge community and culture.