Plans for lighting around Lake Wendouree have been a long time in the making - but even with a design finally out for public feedback, the project continues to prompt terse exchanges in council.
At public question time at the council meeting on Wednesday, resident Anne Beggs-Sunter asked if councillors had been briefed any alternatives to the one out for consultation.
It was agreed it was an issue of details that were going to be operational at some stage, and I do not recall council requiring optionsCEO Janet Dore
She inquired if there were any options that would respond "more sensitively" to the needs of the wildlife, and to reduce "visual obstruction of poles and clutter around the lake".
Responding, the mayor Cr Ben Taylor said there had "many briefings" on the matter over the years.
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Cr Samantha McIntosh said she had attended that a heritage advisory committee meeting where council officers had confirmed "there would be options"
"I believe that is what Ms Beggs-Sunter is asking about," she said. "It was to ensure that there was not necessarily a heritage light but certainly something that is respectful and sympathetic as a second option."
"It does appear the project as it has been put forward has not included that - it may have just been left off the advertising material but it certainly had been confirmed by council officers in a number of forums."
The chief executive officer Janet Dore responded: "I remember the last time council had a briefing on this and there was discussion on lights.
"It was agreed it was an issue of details that were going to be operational at some stage, and I do not recall council requiring options."
Acting Director Development and Growth Natalie Robertson took Cr Taylor's question about the process on notice, saying she had not attended the meeting in question.
Cr McIntosh said: "I was at that meeting when it was reported, and at that meeting members were given confirmation there would be two options."
"That's not my recollection," responded Ms Dore.
The project has stalled since the Andrews government pledged $2.5 million to illuminate the Steve Moneghetti Track, as well as for a Victoria Park running track, in October 2018.
It has been the subject of previous heated exchanges between council members and state government.
Last September, a state government spokesperson said the funding was ready to go as soon as detailed design work was received from council.
The reason for the delayed design process has never been clearly stated. However, protracted discussions over the detail of the lighting designs were reportedly a factor.
- Community consultation closes September 7.For more information, and to have your say, visit the MySay website.
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