harding dam2


from $850.00

This bus package can be split by up to 15 people @ $57 each

Book the entire package for yourself or book singles and meet new friends.

We will pickup and drop you off wherever you are staying, this bus tour starts off in Karratha.

[Not a valid template]The Harding Dam/ Lake Poongkaliyarra is located approximately 25 km south of Roebourne on the Harding River. When filled to capacity, the dam covers an area of fifteen square kilometers and extends ten kilometers back from the dam wall.

With the growing population in the north-west region in the 1960s-1970s, the need for better access to water became an urgent priority. In the mid-1970s, proposals by the Public Works Department focused on the Fortescue River for the construction of a dam to supplement the water supply from the Millstream aquifer. However, the Fortescue River is a significant site to the Aboriginal people of the area and there was therefore strong opposition against the construction of a dam in this location. In this instance, the government reconsidered and alternative locations for the dam were investigated.

In the early 1980s, the Public Works Department proposed the Harding River for the construction of the dam. This area was also important to the Aboriginal people of the area and they therefore protested, as the construction of the dam in this location would result in the destruction of sacred areas and cultural heritage sites of ongoing significance. In 1981 the Minister for Works applied to the Minister for Cultural Affairs for permission to utilize the area. Permission was granted, subject to the completion of an archaeological investigation of sites in the area. In 1982 the Public Works Department commissioned the consultants Bruce J. Wright to undertake a program of recording at the archaeological locations identified within the catchment area of the proposed dam. However, no salvaging or sampling work was to be undertaken.

Construction of the Harding Dam commenced in February 1982. Both prior to, and during the construction of the dam, the Yindjibarndi people attempted to appeal against this impact upon their cultural heritage; they held protests at the site, traveled to Perth to present their case to the State Government and attempted to appeal to the new Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act. However, these had no effect and the construction of the dam continued. State elections in 1983 changed the ruling party from Liberal to Labour in Western Australia. The Labour party had been opposed to the construction of the dam and it was therefore anticipated that construction might stop with the change in power. However, as work on the dam was already 70% complete, and as the earthworks had made the land highly vulnerable to floods and erosion, the dam construction continued and was officially opened on 28th May 1985.

The construction of the Harding Dam also negatively impacted upon the historic Cooya Pooya pastoral station, resulting in its abandonment and neglect. The Water Authority purchased this significant pastoral station was from the Stove family in 1978, as it lay within the Harding River catchment area. The construction of the Harding Dam had been promoted as ensuring the conservation of the Millstream aquifer.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Bus, Historic, Rock Art
  • Activity Level 3 Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group

Any type of food wear will do for this tour.

Sorry no alcohol is permitted on Tour.

Sorry no pets are permitted.

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