$1m shared pathway connects lake foreshore

A three-kilometre shared pathway at Tallawarra, connecting the foreshore of Koonawarra Bay to Yallah Bay, has been completed in time for the summer holidays.

The $1-million project, which has been three years in the making, is one of the final projects to be funded through the Lake Illawarra Authority.

The LIA board was disbanded by the NSW government in July. However, the authority still exists under the umbrella of the Department of Trade and Investment until the NSW government repeals the LIA legislation.

Since June, works previously managed by the LIA board have been supervised by the authority's executive officer, Brian Dooley.

Mr Dooley said the three-kilometre pathway connected the foreshore of Koonawarra Bay at the end of Gilba Road to Yallah Bay opposite the Tallawarra Power Station.

"It consists of 2.7 kilometres of concrete pathway and 300 metres of elevated boardwalk over sensitive low-lying land south of Elizabeth Point," Mr Dooley said.

In the late 19th century, Elizabeth Point was the proposed site of a Lake Illawarra harbour, and remnants of the railway construction abandoned in 1892 are visible from the new Tallawarra shareway.

Work was completed in several stages over two years.

"The Tallawarra shareway provides access to foreshore areas that were previously unavailable to the community," Mr Dooley said.

He said more than 80 per cent of the lake's 37-kilometre perimeter was now accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

Former LIA chairman Doug Prosser said he was delighted to see the work completed.

He said strategic plans existed to fill in the missing links in the network south of Tallawarra.

Mr Dooley said the potential shareways had been identified and mapped but the land would need to be set aside for public services as part of the development of Tallawarra.

Other works recently completed by the LIA include dredging of Burroo Bay in Shellharbour and rock groyne works at Windang.

All LIA construction works are expected to conclude by February.

Meantime, the management of the lake and the LIA's assets remain in a state of limbo six months after the LIA board disbanded.

Last week, Shellharbour City councillors unanimously backed the proposed structure of a Lake Illawarra estuary management committee, despite Wollongong City councillors demanding a firmer financial commitment from the state government before doing the same.

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