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Imperial passion lives on

Friday, 20th April, 2018

Imperial Lake will be decommissioned after the Murray River pipeline is in place. Imperial Lake will be decommissioned after the Murray River pipeline is in place.

By Emily Roberts

There are no plans to reopen Imperial Lake or return it to its former glory, but a passion for the lake remains in the Silver City.

In a letter to the editor on April 14, businessman Peter Nash wrote about improving the city’s population and business prospects.

He also wrote about bringing the Imperial Lake back to life.

“One such project that would be a boon for the city is to get control of the Imperial Lake and develop this area for free camping (a booming market) and for locals to also use for kayaking, fishing, sailing etc. Add barbecues, shower blocks, walking trails, bike track, kid’s outdoor style adventure playground and longer term a function area for the most idyllic wedding venue right here on our doorstep,” Mr Nash said.

“Just imagine being able to head to the Imperial Lake for barbecue birthdays, or that glass of wine watching the sunset! Nothing is impossible we just need a vision, money and some willing Committee Members to steer the ship.”

Past attempts to reopen the lake, which was a popular recreational area for swimmers and fishermen before being closed in the 1980s, have all failed.

Tens of thousands of dollars in materials and man-hours was spent on landscaping the lake’s foreshore in the late 1990s.

But the lake remained shut amid concerns over contamination of the water. 

However, Essential Water’s Manager Water Operations John Coffey said they will set about decommissioning the Imperial Lake once the pipeline is installed.

“Essential Water has committed to decommissioning Imperial Lake following commissioning of the Murray to Broken Hill pipeline,” he said. 

“The purpose of the dam is to provide an emergency supply to Broken Hill when the Stephens Creek pipeline fails. 

“This will no longer be required when the Murray pipeline supply direct to Broken Hill is commissioned.”

He also added that reopening the Lake wasn’t on Essential Water’s radar.

“There are no plans to re-open Imperial Lake.”

Barrier Industrial Council president Danny O’Connor said it would be great to see the Imperial Lake restored to its former glory.

“It has to go back to what it was,” he said.

“A major priority should be to make the place attractive, it would attract people and also attract new business.”

Mr O’Connor said it was time to move away from the “mining town” tag.

“We keep calling ourselves a mining town, which we are, but mining has its ups and downs.

“We can’t afford to put all our eggs in one basket.”

Mr O’Connor agreed that Imperial Lake could be developed into an ideal venue.

“It is so crucial to developing the city.

“It could be opened up as a picnic and barbecue site and used for functions.

“I am with Peter on it.”

Mr O’Connor said he wasn’t against Mr Nash’s idea to raise rate revenue.

“It has to be done for the right reasons, we all have to be going in the same direction.

“The more people who leave town, the more jobs that are at risk.

“I love the idea of working together to attract businesses to set up in Broken Hill.

“We should develop a committee that could work on ideas for this.

“We need to be forward thinking and not negative.

“We need to make mistakes to create success.”

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