Pyrenees Shire Council is preparing to develop an action plan for the future of the Beaufort Lake.
Council will this month consider a consultative report to determine the best course of action for the site that is almost bone dry, yet still of considerable importance for the local community.
The lake covers 14.27 hectares with an average depth of 1.8 metres, giving it a 260 megalitre capacity and when full, is used for boating, water skiing, fishing, rowing and swimming.
Its surrounds have a network of paths which are used for walking, riding, fitness, fauna and flora observation, with barbeques, picnic tables and toilet facilities also located on the site.
The Beaufort Caravan Park is also located on its shores.
“The lake has significant social, recreational and tourism values, and is important to the local economy,” he said,” Pyrenees Shire chief executive Jim Nolan said.
“Council is keen to see how it can best add value to the lake, but what that future development will be is a matter for the council to decide; cost and access to funding will be a major factor in council’s decision.”
A community consultation session was held in August last year.
Resident feedback included the lake’s importance to the local community, the need to preserve water levels and the potential to source water from other locations, options for deepening the lake, tourism potential and preservation of the natural environment around the lake.
The proposed report to the February meeting is primarily in response to an earlier report and resolution of council from November, which provided a summary of the consultation.
Council is responsible for the maintenance of the lake and surrounds, with the Goldfields Recreation Reserve Committee responsible for the site prior to the last few years.
The maintenance is not programmed and is often reactive rather than proactive.
Initial costings to enhance the maintenance of the lake to meet community expectations are estimated to be between $20,000 and $40,000 per year.