Ouyen's new lake going swimmingly

The Victorian town of Ouyen now has its own recreational lake for the town’s skiers, fishers and swimmers to enjoy following a long-running community campaign.

Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad said the lake has been a long time coming and will bring a range of recreational benefits to the people of Ouyen and the surrounding region.

“It is fantastic to see the lake finally finished here in Ouyen, I take my hat off to the entire community who have made this happen and I look forward to spending a few summer days here with the family. I have no doubt that tourists and the community will be enjoying activities such as skiing, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and picnicking here for years to come,” Mr Broad said.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the new lake is a victory for community advocacy.

“More than 300 people attended a community meeting in 2013 to show their support for a recreational lake in Ouyen. However the lake was originally conceived back in 1998 when the open channel system was converted to pipelined water,” Mr McCormack said.

State Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said this project has been a vision held by the community for almost two decades.

“The Ouyen community has contributed more than $300,000 of in-kind labour, materials, plants and machinery to help get this project off the ground,” said Mr Crisp.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said the lake was built in two stages.

“Stage 1 included bank stabilisation, irrigation and grass planting, and Stage 2 involved the construction of access roads and footpaths, a boat ramp and pontoon, a BBQ area and an amenities block,” Ms Pulford said.

Mayor of Mildura Mark Eckel said everyone involved should be congratulated in making the project a reality, particularly members of Ouyen Inc and the Ouyen community.

“This is very much a community success story, from the vision for this fantastic project through to the ongoing drive to bring it to fruition. I look forward to the positive impact this valuable asset will have, not just for Ouyen, but for the entire Mallee Track,” Cr Eckel said.

The $1.348 million Ouyen Lakes project was jointly funded with the Australian Government investing $674,000, the Victorian Government $500,000, Mildura Rural City Council $66,000, Ouyen Incorporated $100,000 and Mid Northern Association of Angling Incorporated $8,000.

Hannah Maguire