Why the Lights4Lake project is a win for the entire community: opinion

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Feb. 26, 2016, Daily Advertiser

It was 2008 and the region’s farmers were being slowly suffocated by an asphyxiating drought. Parched livestock stumbled around like sleepwalkers, in paddocks that had been transformed from verdant green to hard-baked brown.

At Wagga’s most cherished natural asset, Lake Albert, hundreds of dead, bloated carp blanketed the shore. The lake was dying. The Barry Carne Memorial had just been cancelled. You couldn’t get a jet ski in the lake, let alone a speed boat. The community was howling for a solution and everything, from a water diviner to a $5 million pipeline from the river, was floated. Fast forward eight years and the lake is brimming with water and bursting with life. While its future health remains at the mercy of Mother Nature, work to sink a nearby bore is looking promising. The time is right to capitalise and yesterday, Committee4Wagga flicked the switch on an ambitious but worthy venture. The Lights4Lake project aims to build 104 solar lights around the precinct of the lake.

Supported by The Daily Advertiser, the project calls on businesses, community groups and individuals to “sponsor” a light. It’s true that the lake means many things to many people. But a fair proportion of those people use it as an exercise park. Lights around the lake can only make the precinct more accessible and make our community a healthier one. It will provide a spectacular spectacle at night and make the lake a safer place to exercise and recreate. Committee4Wagga should be commended for its vision and vigour in getting this project off the ground. It’s now up to the community to show its support by digging deep and ensuring the vision is brought to life. Installing lights around a priceless community asset is too important an issue to be hijacked by personal agendas and NIMBYs.

The splinter minority of lake locals who oppose the lights on the basis they will adversely impact on the amenity of the area are missing a larger point. Lake Albert exists not purely for the residents lucky enough to live around it, but for the entire community.

And the community has a message for the knockers: let there be light.

Story courtesy of the Daily Advertiser

MediaCristy Houghton