The project will see major infrastructure improvements of the facilities at Lake Charlegrark, enhancing the visitor experience to the area.
The improvements will include construction of an all-abilities amenities block, installation of three phase power and upgrades to visitor infrastructure such as barbeques and seating.
The entire community of West Wimmera are supportive of this project; the Lake's centralised position within the shire creates an amiable meeting point for residents from within and around the region, as well as domestic and international visitors.
This support is underpinned by a myriad of organisations, who have agreed to various levels of co-contribution (financial, in-kind, usage and advocacy).
Lake Charlegrark Recreation Reserve Committee are the Committee of Management for the lake and land that will be used for the precinct development - all funding and investment will be for construction purposes.
The project cost is $0.789m which will comprise the following confirmed and potential contributions:
- West Wimmera Shire Council - $50,000 - confirmed
- Lake Charlegrark Recreation Reserve Committee - $50,000 – confirmed
- Lake Charlegrark Country Music Marathon Committee - $60,000 – confirmed
- Various sources including trust fund, fundraising - $64,000 – confirmed
- Goroke Apex Club - $15,000 - confirmed
- Drought Communities Program - $300,000 - confirmed
- State Government $200,000 – application submitted
- In-kind and non-financial support (various partners) - $50,000 – confirmed
The process has included extensive community consultation and is supported by a range of local and regional strategy including the:
- 2014 Edenhope-Apsley Social Infrastructure Study
- 2014 Economic Development Strategy
- 2013-2017 WWS Council Plan (strategic objective 2)
- 2014 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Growth Plan
- 2012 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Strategic Plan
- Victoria's Regional Tourism Strategy 2013 – 2016
- WWSC Tourism Strategy 2014-17
- 2015 Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Investment Plan
The primary drivers of this important project include:
- To facilitate economic development by offering a strategic, cost-effective and long term infrastructure solution to key cultural and community assets in the region which are currently constrained in terms of capacity and accessibility
- To facilitate economic growth and development in the local region by investing in quality tourism infrastructure so that the region is transformed into a relevant and competitive participant in the tourism market
- To encourage new, repeat and extended visitation from within and beyond the region by providing a destination for motorists incorporating visitor information and recreational spaces, physical connection to the local environmental and public amenities.
- To address disadvantage through expansion of existing community and social enterprises, including through a flow on effect of increased visitation to the region, improving mental health and wellbeing in residents and visitors.
- To create an aged and disability friendly experience that addresses the disadvantaged faced by this demographic and their families, including volunteer opportunities to transition to active retirement.
- To empower community participation and grassroots leadership that is based on shared meaning, measurable impact, social capacity and self-determination.
- Lake Charlegrark attracts over 15,000 visitors annually. It is expected that investment in this project will significantly increase annual visitation (by up to 40 per cent), increase attendees to the Country Music Marathon (up to 30 per cent) and improve the visitor experience. The combined direct effect of this growth will increase the Gross Regional Product by at least $0.850m.
2011 State Government analysis of SEIFA data shows a comparison for the following areas of disadvantage for residents of Edenhope and Kaniva.
Table 1 – Comparison of disadvantage % of population (SEIFA)
Aged over 65 years
Over 75 years of age living alone
People with a disability
Households with no internet
West Wimmera Shire Council and its communities would welcome the opportunity to discuss this important project with interested parties.
Mr Mark Fletcher
Phone: 0437 816 505