REOPENING the access road around Lake Bullen Merri remains a long-term hope for the Camperdown community, a public meeting revealed this week.
About 40 people attended an ‘Imagine Camperdown’ meeting, hosted by the Corangamite Shire on Wednesday night and listed reopening Lake Bullen Merri’s access road as their number one priority.
Attendees pooled their ideas for future community based projects in Camperdown and then prioritised them according to their importance.
Ideas included better pedestrian crossings in Manifold Street, improved entrance signs for the town, ‘lighting up’ Mt Leura, more walking tracks, clearer views from Mount Leura and improving Queens Park.
Participants were then issued with one gold and three yellow indicators and asked to place them next to the listed projects they wanted to see developed most.
Access to Lake Bullen Merri topped the list with eight gold and eight yellow indicators.
A suggestion to improve facilities at the lake, such as introducing walking traces, attracted a further three gold and six yellow indicators.
Other projects to attract strong support included a call to improve the town’s street lighting, which attracted four gold and two yellow indicators, while the need for a retirement living facility attracted four gold and five yellow indicators.
Existing projects also attracted continued support with the tourist information centre (based at the courthouse) attracting one gold and 11 yellow indicators, while the need for better tourist information brochures and walking trails attracted three gold and seven yellow indicators.
Corangamite Shire community development officer Garry Moorfield said suggested projects listed were all worthy.
“However, it must be noted that nothing will happen unless people are willing to follow up and help see the projects through,” he said.
The meeting also celebrated the achievements of the initial ‘Imagine Camperdown’ community plan which was developed after public consultation in 2012.
Mr Moorfield said there was a lot to celebrate with several of the projects recording strong progress, particularly the development of the Tourist Information and Arts Centre at the courthouse, the development of Camperdown Playspace and rehabilitation works at the town’s botanical gardens.
Tourist Information and Arts Centre representative Terry Brain said the facility now averaged 6000 visits per year and had an estimated economic benefit to the town of $98,000 annually.
He said the centre now had 59 ambassadors, 45 of which provided three hours of volunteer service each month.
“We think we are hitting the mark in terms of art-based activities, being a community hub and being ambassadors for our town,” he said.
“We think we are now sustainable from a financial point of view and that’s a great achievement.”
Camperdown Playspace representative Peter Conheady said the development had achieved its two main goals in providing a community meeting place for Camperdown locals and in providing a “destination” playground for visitors and travellers.
“Stages one and two of the project have been completed as well as part of stage three,” he said.
“Stage four, the final stage, will see an improved car park put in on the Gunner Street perimeter.
“It’s amazing in finer weather to see how many people are there using the playspace.
“We’ve also noticed a number of mature aged people using the playspace to take a breather during their morning walks.”
Mr Conheady said there had also been postive feedback from visitors from other towns who had visited the playground.
Also a member of the Camperdown Botanical Gardens Trust, Mr Moorfield said the group had managed
to attract 127 members, based locally, nationally and internationally.
“We have attracted $40,000 in Corangamite Shire funding to develop a conservation management plan, have produced 10 newsletters and hosted five talks, each with quality speakers,” he said.
“The conservation management plan will be an important step in restoring the gardens, as it will allow us to secure more funding from various other sources.”
Mr Moorfield said data collected from Wednesday night’s Imagine Camperdown meeting would be collated and presented at a follow-up meeting scheduled for July 18.