Lake plan knocked back

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Com­mu­ni­tynews . com. au Lynn Gri­er­son

MUN­DAR­ING Shire coun­cil­lors have knocked back a mas­ter plan to re­vi­talise Lake Leschenaultia as a tourist and recre­ation desti­na­tion.

Coun­cil­lor John Daw spoke against a coun­cil pro­posal to progress and seek comment on a draft de­sign plan for the 168ha re­serve in Chid­low. Coun­cil­lors voted with Cr Daw not to en­dorse the Shire of Mun­dar­ing staff rec­om­men­da­tion.

Of­fi­cers pre­sented a de­tailed re­port on Tues­day, which favoured de­vel­op­ment of the Shire of Mun­dar­ing’s “jewel in the crown”, an area of his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance and natural beauty.

Shire Pres­i­dent David Lavell said coun­cil­lors be­lieved it was not the right time to pro­ceed with a large- scale re­view of the area when the fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to im­ple­ment some of the ob­jec­tives and in­fra­struc­ture in the plan was lack­ing.

“We will main­tain ex­ist­ing as­sets as they are but there won’t be an ex­pan­sion of the fa­cil­i­ties al­ready there,” he said.

“Coun­cil may de­cide to pick it up again later down the track, but there are con­cerns around cost in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate.”

Land­scape ar­chi­tect Black­well and As­so­ci­ates be­gan work on the mas­ter plan last Novem­ber.

Costs in­curred in­clude con­sul­tancy fees of $ 45,580 for the draft plan and $ 14,805 for sur­veys pre­sented at a coun­cil fo­rum in Septem­ber and fi­nalised as a draft mas­ter plan in Oc­to­ber.

The coun­cil re­solved two years ago to re­al­lo­cate $ 80,000 from $ 360,000 bud­geted against the cap­i­tal ac­count for con­struc­tion of a care­taker’s house to a new op­er­at­ing ac­count for de­vel­op­ment of the mas­ter plan.

The mas­ter plan sought to ad­dress ac­cess and main­te­nance con­cerns, with the aim of en­hanc­ing the natural beauty of the desti­na­tion for day vis­i­tors and short- term campers to at­tract more vis­i­tors across the sea­sons.

Of­fi­cers said the mas­ter plan would act as a guide for all fu­ture de­vel­op­ment to “max­imise the amenity and en­rich the users’ ex­pe­ri­ence while not over­load­ing the site’s en­vi­ron­men­tal ca­pac­ity”.

Lake Leschenaultia re­serve has pro­vided fresh­wa­ter swim­ming, ca­noe­ing and other recre­ational activities for many years.

The of­fi­cer’s re­port said ad hoc de­vel­op­ment of the fa­cil­ity in the past had failed to tap into the potential to en­hance ex­pe­ri­ences of- fered by the site.

Lo­cal groups con­sulted about the draft plan in­cluded the Chid­low Progress As­so­ci­a­tion, Mun­dar­ing and Hills His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, Mun­dar­ing Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion and Eastern Hills Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.

Feedback from a small com­mu­nity sur­vey sug­gested the natural at­tributes of the site “sell it­self”, but the same peo­ple said while the fa­cil­i­ties re­flected com­mu­nity needs and ex­pec­ta­tions, they fell short of the qual­ity ex­pected.

The Shire re­port pro­posed a three- stage de­vel­op­ment at a to­tal cost of $ 17,823,071, in­clud­ing a cafe/ kiosk/ func­tion cen­tre and grassed ar­eas to at­tract vis­i­tors.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www. com­mu­ni­typix. com. au d463508

Lake Leschenaultia in Chid­low.

An artist’s im­pres­sions of a kiosk and func­tion cen­tre in a plan to de­velop Lake Leschenaultia as a tourist desti­na­tion that has been put on hold by Mun­dar­ing Shire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.