23 March, 2023
Have your say on new look Lakes
THE Mareeba community is being asked what they think of a concept design released for the long-awaited facelift for the Bicentennial Lakes precinct, with a public survey starting next week and information sessions to be held in April.
The project promises to deliver a complete revitalisation of the recreational area, giving families a great place to go close to town.
Mayor Angela Toppin explained there would be quite a few changes and additions to the area during the two stages of the project and council wanted feedback from residents to help prioritise which elements were more important to the community.
“Is a pump track the most important element, or a new adventure playground? We can’t do it all, but with the community’s help we will build a wonderful modern space for Mareeba families and visitors to enjoy,” she said.
Mayor Toppin said a focus of the works would be to tackle water flow issues for the lakes.
“The Bicentennial Lakes were created to celebrate the bicentenary in 1988 when the council of the day received federal government funding to create a water feature in Mareeba’s Basalt Gully,” she said.
“This clever use of the natural terrain converted a seasonal gully into a series of lakes that was well-utilised by many generations of Mareeba locals.
“Always known as Basalt Gully by Mareeba’s early families, this area became affectionately known as the Lakes after the redevelopment in the 80s.
“In this time, there have been significant changes with water supply and the seasonal rain has not been enough to keep the lakes flowing. Council cannot rely on Sunwater overflows now, as it did when the lakes were built.”
Work on the project will commence in the southern section between Rankin Street and Keeble Street, with some earth-works in the northern section between Keeble St and Granite Creek to improve the movement of water.
“The weirs will be removed to enhance water flow, and this will mean that the look of the lakes will be very different,” Mayor Toppin said.
“In the southern section, the weirs will be removed, and the lakes will be filled to allow for more parkland. A watercourse will remain, although it will be narrower to encourage seasonal rains to flow through into the northern section. Water will no longer stagnate in a series of weirs.”
In the northern section, earthworks will improve the flow of water.
“While the look of the lake in the northern section won’t change dramatically, residents will notice the removal of one of the islands with this material used to change the alignment of the embankment,” Mayor Toppin said.
“The island which is a refuge for the ducks will be retained.
“We would love to redevelop the entire parkland at once, both the southern and northern portions, but we are constrained by the budget. This approach allows council to create a beautiful active recreation space in the southern section, without any additional cost to ratepayers.”
Council obtained funding for the detailed design for the Lakes from the Queensland Government 2022-24 Local Government Grants and Subsidies Pro-gram and is seeking further funding to allow for footpath enhancements through-out the parkland.
The arched bridges will be replaced with all-access walkways.
“We know that some people will rejoice at this news, and others will be concerned,” Mayor Toppin said.
“Unfortunately, these bridges are at the end of their useful lives, and they simply do not meet contemporary outdoor design standards. We want this parkland to be well utilised by all people, and the design is focussed on removing barriers to access.”
The biggest investment in the redevelopment of the southern section will be the adventure playground and outdoor facilities that are installed.
“A toilet block will be constructed on the Mason Street side, and we will be seeking community input to prioritise the other potential improvements,” Mayor Toppin said.