On 16th June 2019 Council commenced works to temporarily open a channel to allow Lake Conjola to drain into the ocean. The specific objectives of the work being to flush the lake, scour sand out of the lake and allow the lake levels to lower by at least 300mm.
Council worked with local subcontractors and two community representatives Dirk Treloar and Cathy Ardron who volunteered to be inducted onto the worksite and monitor the works from a community perspective.
This channel has now been open for over 20 days, with significant flushing and lowering to the river resulting. It took four days to open the lake and the ongoing works have been occurring to help maintain the opening.
During this time there has been over 1500 truck loads (22,600cu.m) of sand excavated and placed at an approved location to the north of the lake.
Dirk and Cathy said
“Works to open a channel which has enabled the lake to flush and lower have been very successful with the objective of trying to lower the level of the lake by more that 300mm being well and truly achieved.”
“We are happy with the way the works were conducted and the level of cooperation and consultation displayed by Council.”
“Last Friday we met with a number of community representatives and Council staff and it was explained that the excavators would need to leave the site in the next few days. The consensus at the meeting was that works would conclude on Friday 12 July 2019”
Director Paul Keech said
“Maintaining the opening with machinery and staff does come at a cost and given the condition of the lake, the environmental forces at play and with the agreement of the community, it has been determined that the time has come for ongoing works to stop.”
“It is expected that machinery will leave site today and will not return on Monday.”
“It is expected that the opening will remain in place for a short time but as planned and discussed before any work started, it will eventually close.”
Chief Executive Officer Stephen Dunshea said
“It has been important that these works have been undertaken in partnership with community. "
"Council has ensured that the community have been involved in the decision-making processes, throughout this period of works and updated regularly throughout.”
“Whilst the works related to the construction of an opening will come to an end, there is a continuing process that will be undertaken with the community, to review the Coastal Zone Management Plan and to create a new agreed management policy for the Lake.”
Updates for the community will continue to be provided on Council’s Lake Conjola Get Involved Page as the project progresses.