Natural focus in future for lake

PRESERVING parkland and minimising environmental impacts are key to what the community wants council to consider for future Lake Wendouree look and use.

We have so much that is special here, however, there are simple things we can improve for greater use. - Mayor Samantha McIntosh

Lighting for the Steve Moneghetti Track is also a popular concept residents support, according to a survey that will shape City of Ballarat’s new Lake Wendouree Master Plan.

More than 1800 people completed the survey, offering feedback on nine project proposals, and sharing their thoughts on what makes the lake precinct so special – mostly complementing natural beauty.

Community consultation also featured ‘walk and talk’ sessions.

Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said responses had been consistent with major talking points the community had been proposing for awhile now. 

The last lake master plan was 23 years old. Cr McIntosh said community needs and lake use had greatly changed, particularly in the past 10 years’ recovery from drought.

“The lake is absolutely buzzing and alive, especially with water input secured and events that have been exceptionally successful,” Cr McIntosh said. “We have a strong population growth and all activity surrounding the lake will provide for a healthy and active population...We have so much that is special here, however, there are simple things we can improve for greater use.”

The lake master plan preliminary draft is expected to be released within the next couple of months and will be put to community for further feedback.

Cr McIntosh said on a broad scale, the master plan would help direct council focus for other key areas in the city, like connecting the nearby Victoria Park and Avenue of Honour.

Key considerations for the master plan are: improving the path network; biodiversity; public facilities like seating and drinking taps; minimising building impact on natural lake character; events; and history and culture.