Crown Lands - Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has granted City of Mount Gambier and SA Water joint custodianship of a key land parcel at the Blue Lake. It follows the expiry of a 21-year licence between SA Water and Council for the Crown Land on 31 December 2020.
Council was advised on 29 June 2021 that joint custodianship for the Blue Lake Crown Land Title had been approved with SA Water and City of Mount Gambier named as custodians for recreation, tourism and water supply purposes.
“Now that Council has secured joint tenure over the Blue Lake land parcel, the next steps will include liaison with SA Water to draft an agreement to guide the use, activities and protocols associated with the Blue Lake,” City of Mount Gambier CEO Sarah Philpott said.
“Council recognises that the Blue Lake is the city’s leading tourist attraction, so we intend to develop a shared vision and model to activate the Blue Lake with cultural and tourism opportunities.” - City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin.
“SA Water and City of Mount Gambier will work together to enable a contemporary visitor experience that champions and adds value to the local area, capitalising on its natural beauty, cultural heritage and important operational role in water supply,” SA Water Senior Manager Customer Growth Matt Minagall said.
In July 2020, Council resolved to pursue a new avenue for the high-profile tourism site and its tourism assets as outlined in its 2020 - 2024 Strategic Plan, with a view to develop and deliver a tourism master plan for the area.
“The co-custodianship means that Council can now move forward with the preparation of a draft Community Land Management Plan for the Blue Lake, with reference to the fact that it is part of the State Heritage Crater Lakes precinct managed in accordance with the Crater Lakes Conservation Management Plan,” Ms Philpott said.
“We will now progress with plans to activate the Blue Lake land parcel for tourism and recreation purposes. In the interim, ‘pop-up’ mobile tourism services will continue at the lake.”
Council will undertake community engagement as part of the planning process for the activation of the area.
“Council is excited to explore opportunities for the activation of the Blue Lake area and Crater Lakes precinct in consultation with the community as part of developing a Sport, Recreation and Open Space Strategy, Tourism Assets Masterplan and a Crater Lakes Activation Plan,” Mayor Martin said.
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