My adjournment is for the Minister for Water, and the action I seek is that she releases the management plan for Greens Lake. The lake, just outside the Shepparton district, has been an important recreational spot for camping, boating, fishing, and family days out for generations.
Unfortunately, the health of the lake has deteriorated in the last two years. It has sat and continues to sit level at 20 per cent. I went to look at it again recently and it has continued to deteriorate, and the wetland area has reduced in size with few wetland waterbirds we usually see present.
It will certainly not be the hive of activity it once was yet again this summer, and perhaps it will never again offer the simple recreational, community and social values we once enjoyed, if action is not taken soon. This kind of community space is just what is needed as we emerge from the pandemic. It allows families and friends to socialise outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.
I read in the Weekly Times today that 3000 megalitres of water was used to fill western Victoria’s 10 recreational lakes and town weir pools. These lakes do not have access to an ongoing reliable water source, much like Greens Lake.
In the case of these western Victorian lakes, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water Corporation filled them using ‘growth water’ but we have yet to see any top-up at our popular recreational spot at Greens Lake.
I have written to the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and Minister Wynne when he was acting water minister. In April this year, Minister Wynne advised me that he had asked the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to develop a future use management plan for Greens Lake in conjunction with the local community, traditional owners and relevant agencies.
The plan aims to assess the environmental, cultural, and recreational values of the lake to determine the best long-term plan. This plan will address threats to these values and put the necessary mitigation and intervention measures in place.
However, I am yet to see this plan and I know the users of the lake are also eager to see what the future holds for the lake that has played such an important part in their lives.