RED LIGHT FOR GREENS LAKE

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By VIVIENNE DUCK

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.

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