The restoration of water in Lake Condah is one of the key tenets of the Lake Condah Sustainable Development Project
(LCSDP) being undertaken by the Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation
. The lake has tremendous cultural and spiritual significance for the indigenous community. Examples of techniques that were used for trapping and harvesting eels, as well as remains of rudimentary stone huts, are readily observed and attest to the importance of this area in the history of these communities.
Lake Condah project wins CCF Earth Award
The Lake Condah water restoration project has restored the lake following the construction, some 60 years ago, of a channel to drain the Lake into Darlot Creek, to reclaim much of the Lake area for agriculture, chiefly cattle grazing, by non-indigenous farmers. More recently the Gunditjmara
people were successful in their native title claim over the Lake Condah land area, which is now known as the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape.
A milestone was achieved this month when the lake reached its full level and spilled over the newly constructed weir for the first time. The design and construction of the weir was nominated for an Earth Award
conducted by the Civil Contractors Federation of Victoria in category one for projects of value up to $1 million. The key elements that distinguished this project were:
• its design, which was in keeping with the cultural and environmental sensivity of the site;
• the engagement of the local indigenous community in all aspects of the construction; with training and on-site supervision, indigenous workers were recruited to undertake all the construction tasks, as well as some of the administration roles;
• an exhaustive community consultation program involving all stakeholders; this enabled the realisation of a united vision for the project and a highly co-operative team for implementation.
The Lake Condah project won the award against some high quality competition. It now becomes the Victorian contender for the national Earth Award to be decided in Canberra in October.