Lake Bullen Merri management volunteers talk with DSE

TALKS are continuing between the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Lake Bullen Merri committee of management after the group threatened to walk away from the popular recreational lake.

The volunteers who maintain Lake Bullen Merri’s south beach planned to resign en masse unless the state government stepped in to relieve the pressure. 

The group was annoyed with having to deal with issues including illegal camping, vandalism and lack of funding.

The group met last week and committee secretary Peter Place said discussions were in progress.

“At this stage we are staying on as a committee. We’re continuing to do the mowing and whipper-snipping,” he said.

“We’re not looking after the toilets, the rubbish or policing the illegal camping.”

Mr Place said the committee would reassess at its meeting in April but was hopeful changes could be put in place by then.

“Our morale is good. The DSE have seen and heard our issues and they know what our frustrations are,” he said.

“If they put us in the too hard basket though things will be different.”

A DSE spokeswoman said there would be a meeting later this week but had no other comment.

Last month Corangamite Shire works and services director Alex Green said if the committee resigned, the council would also withdraw its services from the government-owned reserve. 

“There will be no mowing, no toilet cleaning and no rubbish collections,” Mr Green said. “The commitment the committee has to put in to maintain the area is just overwhelming.”

It was estimated the council would need $80,000 to $100,000 a year to maintain the area to a satisfactory standard, but no government funding was forthcoming.

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