Wollongong council faces lake repair bill

There are fears Wollongong City Council may be saddled with a hefty repair bill for the lake foreshore at Windang following the demise of the Lake Illawarra Authority.

The area was alive over summer with holidaymakers and locals fishing the clean waters, but concerns have been raised that the speed of the tidal flows since the permanent lake entrance was built six years ago may now be damaging the foreshore.

On Monday night, Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran will present a notice of motion calling on the council to investigate the causes and degree of erosion and instability of the foreshore at Windang, including land neighbouring the Oaklands Village.

"We need a comprehensive geotechnical assessment of the Windang foreshore so we can get some idea of what we are up against," Cr Curran said.

'There is no vegetation to stabilise the bank, there are some old concrete blocks and rocks that have been placed there over time and temporary works which are not adequate."

The foreshore near the village is public land, but signs dotted along the foreshore warn of an uneven surface and say people use it at their own risk.

Oaklands resident Graham Marmont doesn't believe the signs absolve the council of responsibility, with reports one worker patching up the area in recent months had fallen into a sink hole.

"I am 69 and fairly fit and I stumble all the time walking on here . . . it is just too uneven for residents to walk on," he said.

Mr Marmont said the standard of work along the bank varied, and while not convinced the speed of the water was the problem, he said the king tides over summer flowed over the blocks anyway.

Oaklands residents were concerned that people who were no longer using the public strip along the foreshore to access fishing spots were instead wandering through the village at all hours to access the lake.

Cr Curran said a council report should investigate sources of funding for improvement works, an issue confused by the abolition of the Lake Illawarra Authority and the fact the proposed estuary management committee is yet to be formed.

Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran has concerns over the state of the Windang foreshore. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran has concerns over the state of the Windang foreshore. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

"This is an example of why the council does need to be provided with annual contributions from the state government as have been given in the past."


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