| December 12, 2015

Drum calls on Water Minister to get behind Ouyen lake plan

Friday, December 11 2015

National MP for Northern Victoria, Damian Drum, has called on the State Water Minister, Lisa Neville, to get behind plans to establish a lake at Ouyen.

In a speech to State Parliament, Mr Drum outlined the planning and work which had already been invested in establishing the lake as a hub of community recreation.

This had included a $500,000 contribution by the previous Coalition State Government – matched by the community.

Mr Drum praised the drive by local businesses and the community, but said progress had been hampered in recent times.

He urged Ms Neville or a representative to attend a meeting in Ouyen on December 22 when the next steps will be discussed.

Mr Drum told State Parliament: “Ouyen has been without a lake for many years, and over the last 10 or so years Ouyen Inc., a group of leaders within the community, has been pushing to turn the old water storage into a recreational lake.

“Many stakeholders have been very supportive of this project along the way. The Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation has been fully supportive.

“It has allocated the amount that is going to be required to keep topping up the recreational lake through the various pipelines. The pipeline has already been connected to the lake, and that is a major part of the cost.

“The coalition government invested $500 000 through the Putting Locals First program — matched by local contributions — to work with the community to increase the facilities and amenities around the lake so that once there is water in the lake they would be able to provide the shelters, the barbeques and all the other facilities that are needed.

“A philanthropic engineering excavation company was going to do a large part of this work for only cost recovery, but apparently it is no longer in a position to be able to do that work. Therefore there is going to be a need for the government to get behind this project and give this community the resources it needs so that it will end up with a recreational lake on the edge of the town that will have the ability to transform the town of Ouyen.”

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