RED LIGHT FOR GREENS LAKE
ONCE again Corop’s Greens Lake is a no-go for New Years Eve.
And the town’s main business has had enough.
Corop General Store thrives on tourism, but with the main attraction closed over the busiest time of the year, frustrated owners are simply at a loss.
“We will just hold our breath and see what happens,” Corop General Store manager Denielle Sarson told Campaspe News.
“The first year it was closed we were at a loss of $18,000.”
“We rely on the tourists coming through town and coming into the shop.
“Although it is only closed for a day and a half, that day and a half is crucial to our business.
“People don’t want to come and then leave for a day and then have to come back.”
This will be the third year running the lake has been closed by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) at the request of the region’s emergency services.
GMW’s head of customer opera- tions and service Daniel Irwin said this wasn’t a decision made lightly.
“When emergency services come to us, raising serious concerns like this, we have no option but to act,” he said.
Anti-social behaviour and underage drinking were the main concern of authorities when they decided to request closure in 2014.
Since then, emergency service personnel, including Leading Senior Con- stable Bob Naismith of Stanhope police, have had their foot firmly planted on the issue.
“This is about saving lives,” Leading Senior Constable Naismith said.
“We honestly believed there was a very real chance a tragedy would occur. The actions of drug and alcohol-affected people can out their own and others safety at risk.”
Ms Sarson is baffled they continue to ban patrons welcoming in the New Year at the lake when other holiday periods such as Easter continue to go smoothly.
“I just don’t understand why they continue to close it over New Years when there was no trouble over Easter,” she said.
“It doesn’t just affect us, it filters out to towns such as Elmore, Rochester, Echuca and Stanhope.”
CFA acting operations manager Byrn Suckling said illegal fireworks were a real concern this year.
“While many people see illegal fireworks as an innocent celebration, they can cause serious issues for fire services. All these fires and injuries are preventable,” he said.
“I’m particularly concerned about the risk this year with high fuel-loads across the district.”
Despite the significant financial loss, the general store continues to push on extending their business hours in hope of increased holiday business.
“It does affect us the most, but unfortunately there isn’t anything we can do,” Ms Sarson said.