Lake revamp plan drafted


Liam McNally

A revamp of Lake Caroline is a step closer, with Melton council voting to endorse a draft strategy to guide the development and upgrade of the lake and surrounding reserve.

In October 2022 Melton council began its Lake Caroline Masterplan and Activation Strategy project, and a draft of the master plan was tabled at a council meeting on March 25.

Lake Caroline is a popular spot for residents to enjoy social connection, exercise and take in the local wildlife, however, the report identified the reserve is 20 years old and elements of the original design, such as the boardwalks and play equipment, are due for renewal in coming years.

Water quality has also deteriorated which is a significant barrier for users at particular times of the year.

Currently there are no strategic documents to guide the siting, design and delivery of these works, which this document aims to rectify.

The draft strategy also identifies opportunities for activation between the lake and surrounding commercial and residential areas.

The strategy identifies three guiding principles for development – ecology, connections and activation.

With in these three themes there were 17 suggested initiatives including connecting the northern ecology cascade and wetland system, a mid-lake crossing to connect the south and west of the lake and a generous event lawn at the northern end of the lake.

More than 500 submissions were received during community and stakeholder consultation undertaken last year.

Top suggestions included markets, seasonal celebrations and festivals, floating cafes, and rentable boats.

Melton councillor Steve Abboushi said the 500 submissions are testament to how valued Lake Caroline is by residents.

“Located in the heart of Caroline Springs, the surrounding reserve and lake is unique in its amenity, open space and local ecological value,” he said.

“But, the lake is nearly 20 years old and parts of the original design are due for upgrades and renewal as well as strategic vision for the site’s long term future.

“This draft master plan sets out a vision and principles to guide the future development and activation of the lake at its surrounds.

“I’d encourage the community to have their say on this important document when consultation opens next month.”

The draft strategy will go up for public consultation from April 19 to May 6.