Shepparton begins lake redevelopment

Greater Shepparton City Council in northern Victoria has begun redeveloping its iconic Victoria Park Lake.

Located adjacent to the Goulburn Valley Highway passing through the town, the lake is considered a highly important public asset for the City. Covering more than 16 hectares, it draws visitors to the lakeside environment for casual use of the amenities and more formal events, such as rowing club displays.

Victoria Park Lake needs to be topped up with water regularly, as half of the lake’s water
volume evaporates each year.

Council decided not to continue to top up the lake because of the drought conditions. Therefore after two years of evaporation, and without Council purchasing water to top up the levels, the lake is now dry.
Council has used this opportunity to restore the lake and make improvements for the long term rather than choosing a quick fix.

Greater Shepparton Mayor, Councillor Geoff Dobson, said the redevelopment is not a quick fix, but a detailed plan that has involved many members of the community.

“We see this is as a visionary longterm plan that will restore the lake for the next 10, 20 to 50 years to come,” he said.

Current earthworks include removing the retaining walls along the eastern side of the lake, excavating and shaping the lake floor, including wetland areas, the recirculating pump and the regatta course.

Mayor Dobson said around 64,000 cubic metres of excavated soil will be reused for the lake, which minimises the cost to Council, as it does not have to cart and store fill off site.

“The soil will be used on both the eastern and western sides of the lake to widen the shoreline and provide a base for a wetland walking trail,” he said.

“The Wyndham Street foreshore will be extended by almost 20 metres and there will be a gravel walking path at the lake edge, in addition to an existing sealed shared path.”

This first stage of works is expected to be completed by June 2009, with more works to follow.

The next stage of the redevelopment, which is subject to funding, is anticipated to take place between July 2009 to June 2010.

This will involve the second stage of earthworks, development of wetlands, construction of fishing platforms and the finishing of the lake edge, which will have different treatments around the lake of concrete, rock and natural plantings.

“We cannot give a timeframe as to when the lake will be full with water again, but we are very aware that the community wants this to be as soon as possible,” Mayor Dobson said.

“Timeframes and the continuation of redevelopment depend on weather as well as funding. Council has about $500,000 in this year’s budget to begin the first stage of earthworks, but will require more funding in the new financial year to continue the project.

“The Councillors are none too aware of the balancing act to fund and deliver a major project like the Victoria Park Lake redevelopment and Council is continuing to actively pursue funding from various sources.”

For further information contact Council’s Coordinator Major Projects, Graeme Pollard, on (03) 5832 9819.