Lake volunteers’ threat to quit prompts meeting

THE future of Camperdown’s popular recreational lake will be discussed today in a meeting between the Corangamite Shire Council and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).

The volunteers who maintain Lake Bullen Merri’s South Beach area sent a message to the government agency last week as they threatened to resign en masse next month if their responsibilities were not eased.

Fed up dealing with illegal camping, vandalism and other issues, the management committee revealed it would resign at next month’s meeting, with Corangamite Shire Council also close to withdrawing services from the government-owned reserve.

However, a DSE spokeswoman said the department had been working with the Corangamite Shire Council on the management of South Beach.

“DSE staff will further discuss management options for South Beach with council on Monday,” she said.

“It is anticipated that several meetings will be required to help determine the future management arrangements of the area.

“DSE recognises and acknowledges the efforts made by the local committee of management.

“DSE has undertaken repairs at the request of the committee and has also provided funding to council to assist with repairs.”

Committee secretary Peter Place said the planned meetings were encouraging and showed the DSE was unlikely to let the current situation threaten the lake’s ongoing upkeep.

“Talk is in progress and if DSE is prepared to talk then I’m looking on the positive side,” he said yesterday.

“Clearly the DSE now see there is a problem with the managing of the foreshore.

“I’m confident something can be worked out.

“If we’re included in talks between the three parties within the next month, I’m sure by February 12 when we have our next community meeting we shouldn’t be standing down.”

Mr Place said much of the community seemed unaware the reserve was not owned by the council.

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