Upgrade of cultural site close to complete

Shannon Hampton, ALBANY ADVERTISER
Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation chairwoman Vernice Gillies at the Oyster Harbour fish traps.

After four years of work, a community project aiming to protect Albany's ancient Oyster Harbour fish traps is nearing completion.

The site of the 7500 fish traps was damaged in 2011 and since then, the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation has worked with the community to make the significant cultural site into a place of education.

After extensive consultation with the local community and Noongar people, a raised boardwalk has been built, with educational signage and seating expected to be installed in coming weeks.

Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation chairwoman Vernice Gillies said many people were oblivious of the importance of the historic site and hoped the new facilities would go some way to improving knowledge.

"People move the stones and take rafts out and boats, and it's because they don't really know what's before them," she said.

"If people don't know what's on their doorstep, they're not going to be concerned about it one way or the other."

Ms Gillies said she was relieved the project, which was funded by Royalties for Regions and Lotterywest, was finally reaching completion.

"When it's finished, it will be here for everyone to enjoy," she said.

An official opening is expected to be held at the site on May 28.