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Revive Imperial Lake, says BIC

Tuesday, 2nd April, 2013

An artist’s impression of what Imperial Lake could look like if it was transformed into a recreational area. An artist’s impression of what Imperial Lake could look like if it was transformed into a recreational area.

By Gayle Ball

Barrier Industrial Council President Danny O'Connor wants Imperial Lake brought back to life as a recreational hub.

Once open to the public, the city's back-up water supply was regularly dotted with sail boats, swimmers and surrounded by families enjoying picnics on the water's edge.

Essential Water said it has been closed to the public since the mid 1980's for a range of reasons including public liability and the "substantial" cost of bringing it up to a suitable standard and maintaining it.

But Mr O'Connor said he believed it was possible to get it operating as a recreational area.

"I've always been a passionate believer Imperial Lake should be open to the public," he said.

"I want to see it become a family-oriented recreation park.

"If we've got something like that in the heart of town, it'd be fantastic for tourism - for people to go and have a picnic and barbecue in town.

"You don't have to drive to Menindee to do it."

Mr O'Connor said there were a number of other locals who wanted to see the same thing happen.

"I believe it's time for the public to say whether they would like to see Imperial Lake opened up again."

A spokesman for Essential Water said authorities closed the lake not just because of public liability, but also the risk of water contamination - to people and from people - and because it had been attacked by vandals.

There was also the fact that the lake was the city's back-up water supply during drought when the remaining water from the other reservoirs was pumped there, he said.

Added to this was the risk of pumping infrastructure being damaged by vandals, the spokesman said.

Essential Water was also not in the business of running a recreation reserve, he said.

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