Lake evolution in question

DISTINCT lake precincts form the backbone for a final draft master plan on how to evolve the city’s jewel, Lake Wendouree.

It is the fine-tuning to best guide City of Ballarat and councillors on how to develop the lake in best meeting community needs for the next 20 years.

We know people love the lake. We know people see it as the heart of the city...It really says who we think we are as a city.

Mayor Samantha McIntosh

Lake lighting along the Steve Moneghetti Track remains the most popular proposal from initial community consultations.

The latest plan clearly breaks the lake into 13 precincts in a bid for a closer more detailed look moving around the lake shoreline, including the North and South Gardens.

Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh reinforced the master plan was about preserving what people loved most about their lake while keeping it a fresh and vibrant place.

Council’s last master plan for the lake was more than 20 years old and Cr McIntosh said community needs had greatly changed, with a stronger demand for exercising and socialising.

“We know people love the lake. We know people see it as the heart of the city...It really says who we think we are as a city,” Cr McIntosh said. “The lake is a stunning part of Ballarat, an important part of the city’s personality and we want it to remain the jewel in our crown – this plan picks up all people’s views.”

Community can once again have their say on draft plans for the lake.

TOP PRIORITY: Relaxation was a top-two reason for how Ballarat people most enjoy to use the lake, according to findings from master plan public surveys. Picture: Kate Healy

TOP PRIORITY: Relaxation was a top-two reason for how Ballarat people most enjoy to use the lake, according to findings from master plan public surveys. Picture: Kate Healy

Initial planning sought feedback on major projects, including lake lighting and museums, to outdoor gyms, boat sheds, the fernery and indigenous art trails.

A water fountain light show, floating pontoon, a magical fantasy land for children and a night quarter market were key projects added to the mix by the preliminary draft stage.

Exercise and relaxation/socialisation were named the top two lake uses by the city’s residents, followed by dining and cafes, playgrounds, then picnics and barbecues.

“When you look at Lake Wendouree and Vic Park so nearby – there are lots of opportunities for a very healthy community,” Cr McIntosh said. “Now, it’s how we best use that space.”

Have your say online at mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au or visit customer service at The Phoenix, 25 Armstrong Street South. Feedback must be received by October 30.