LETTER TO THE EDITOR
No doubt there is an interesting tussle going on within the city between various groups and individuals (and including the state government) over the very vexed matter of the lake lights.
Someone should ask the simple question of "what is the aim here?" and "who benefits?".
The actual term "lake lights" is actually a misnomer, so far as I am aware there is no intention of lighting the lake, the exercise it seems to me is quite the reverse, to light the walking track and even then, not all the track needs to be lit, only the darker parts - sufficient to maintain safety.
I mean, if the intention is to light the lake then none of the current proposals cut the mustard - actually would be easy to do, put some towers out in the water and presto night regattas become a possibility but I jest and that's not the deal.
WHAT DO YOU THINK: have your say at the bottom of this article
The deal is to allegedly provide safety for those (fool) hardy souls who must walk in the dark but let's look at them, who are they? And how many?
And the better question might be: do they have a right to place themselves in danger and expect community to bail them out by way of an expensive and really controversial lighting program?
It might be easier to simply ban walking around the lake after sunset and before sunup - plenty of public facilities where that happens.
Actually the walking track is the jurisdiction of the state and the money on offer comes from the joint efforts of the two local sitting politicians, so why the hesitation with the install?
I mean of recent times the state has demonstrated its willingness to exert its authority by engaging in the dogmatic execution of projects either against the will of the people (Sturt Street Bike Path), or contrary to the concerns of the councilors (Mair Street).
IN OTHER NEWS
No question the state thwarted the councilors and totally failed the citizens by its intransigence over the provision of land for the community supported "All Waste Interchange".
Demonstrably there is no question the state is failing Ballarat with its management of the Ballarat West Employment Zone but work proceeds, so why the hesitation in this case?
Maybe lake lighting is seen as a step too far or is the pressure "for the money to be spent" simply a ruse to provide a chance for the state to further criticise the management of our city by our elected council who after all are responsible to the citizens not the state.
The design of the lights has always been the sticking point and primarily for one reason, the best reason of all - the sensitivity of the impact of the installation on this really special place and rightly so.
To this extent blame passes directly to council officers who have dogmatically continued to refuse to shift their thinking away from the "top hat on a pole" to something more in tune with the wishes of the community.
My view is officers themselves have to pick a side here, support the state position or be respectful to the community who employ them.
This is one battle the community must not lose.
Grant Tillett, Mount Rowan.
*Mr Tillett was a City of Ballarat councillor from 2016-2020
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