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A move in the light direction for Hedland turtle nesting

Published on Friday, 7 October 2022 at 8:06:10 AM

Visitors to Hedland and the local community are reminded to be aware of turtles and hatchlings on the coastline during nesting season, occurring from November through to March 2023.

Bright lights can affect the endangered flatback turtles in finding their nesting location safely when they land on the beach. Hatchlings can also be disoriented by artificial lights, making it difficult to find their way to the ocean.

Mayor Peter Carter said it was important for the Town to work with local groups, utility providers and the community to protect flatback turtles.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have this unique turtle nesting experience occur on our doorstep. We all have a role to play in ensuring this protected species has the best opportunity to thrive.

“We are proud to partner with Horizon Power, Water Corporation and Care for Hedland to minimise our impact by reducing the lighting in the area to support turtle conservation."

Horizon Power will have every second street light switched off along Sutherland Street between Stevens Street and Crawford Street from 5 October.

Water Corporation will be turning off the Port Hedland water tower lights from 10 October until 31 March 2023.

The Town will also reduce the lighting at Cemetery Beach Park and the Civic Centre Gardens with lighting switched off at 10:30pm each night for the duration of Turtle nesting season.

Horizon Power Community Engagement Manager Juliane Bush said that Horizon Power has been involved in switching off streetlights to reduce lighting impacts on Hedland’s flatback turtle population during the nesting season for several years. 

"We continue to support the Town of Port Hedland and others in efforts to protect this vulnerable species for future generations to enjoy."

Water Corporation North West Regional Manager Sharon Broad said it was a privilege to be able to help organisations such as Care for Hedland to deliver projects that contribute to the protection and sustainability of the local environment.

“We’re very proud to be supporting the Town of Port Hedland and Care for Hedland with their initiatives to protect and preserve the flatback Sea Turtle. Switching off the water tank lights is one small way we can support local conservation and ensure this protected species can continue to nest safely.”

Care for Hedland Morning Program Coordinator Kelly Howlett thanked the community for assisting with the long-term survival of our Hedland turtles.

“Depicted in the Kariyarra rock art, which is dated at least 10,000 years, the Hedland community has a long association with sea turtles. Thanks to collective efforts, we can ensure that we protect our local nesting sea turtles, for thousands of years to come.”

Mayor Carter reminded locals and visitors to Hedland that flash photography and torches were both discouraged on the beach during turtle nesting season and that infringement fines could be issued to dog owners with unrestrained dogs in the area.

“The Town of Port Hedland rangers will be visiting local nesting beaches to ensure that off-road vehicles are not driven near nesting areas and that dogs are on leashes.

“It is vital we protect our environment for future generations. I encourage all dog owners looking for an off-leash dog exercise area to please visit McGregor Street Reserve dog park and Marie Marland Reserve.

“I’d like to acknowledge Care for Hedland’s committed staff and volunteers for their work in raising awareness and protecting Hedland’s flatback turtle population.”

For more information on the Flatback Turtle Monitoring Program, please see the Care for Hedland website:

For media information:

Town of Port Hedland, PR and Communications Team


Phone: 08 9158 9300


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