Clear plan for Newport Lakes

By Matthew Sims

Hobsons Bay has taken the first step towards improving and protecting the 33-hectare Newport Lakes Reserve into the future.

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 28, councillors voted to adopt the Newport Lakes Conservation and Improvement Plan 2022.

Strand Ward councillor Jonathon Marsden said a significant number of Hobsons Bay residents visited the reserve during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“There was immense pressure on the environment, but it also meant that people gained a new-found awareness and love of the park,” he said.

“I think that, in turn, will drive council action and investment, which is now reflected in this improvement plan.”

The plan has provided a prioritised and costed 10-year implementation plan to be delivered as part of council’s capital works program.

Cr Marsden said works to improve water quality would begin soon.

“At the moment, the lakes derive water from a bore, which is quite out of balance when it comes to the pH (levels),” he said.

“People really wanted to see us collect more of the storm water that runs off the surrounding streets and to process that water before putting it into the lakes.”

Cr Marsden said the plan also outlined a clearer delineation between the conservation and recreation areas, especially in clarifying where dogs are allowed to roam and additional shade tree planting at Pavey Park.

“I look forward to a refresh of a well-loved community space,” he said.

Strand Ward Cr Pamela Sutton-Legaud said the reserve was a “hidden gem” for Newport.

“The fact that it’s there is a testament to committed volunteers, who saw the opportunity and created what is now a really beautiful and natural area,” she said.

Other goals identified in the plan included:

* Protecting the park’s unique urban bushland environment;

* Protecting the cultural heritage of the park; and

* Redeveloping and replacing park infrastructure in accordance with council’s policies and current standards.

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