A group of fed-up Caroline Springs residents has formed a committee in an effort to have the suburb’s centrepiece lake returned to its former glory.
The committee, which is being led by former Brimbank and Keilor mayor Charlie Apap, says Lake Caroline has significantly deteriorated in recent years.
“When Delfin had control of this lake, it was perfect – we rarely had a problem,” Mr Apap said. “Since the Melton City Council have taken over, it’s gotten worse and worse.
“Weeds are overgrown and sprouting right across the lake, the fountain hasn’t been turned on for at least eight months and the stagnant water produces an odour in warmer months.
“I’ve had many years experience working on councils.
“We don’t want to work against the council – we want to work with them to get something done,” he said.
Melton operations acting manager Rishi Viner disputed the group’s claims.
“Melton City Council officers have inspected Lake Caroline, and after testing the water quality, determined the water was clear and in a very healthy condition,” he said.
“The council conducts regular scheduled cleans of Lake Caroline – one to two times a week.
“Additional boat-based aquatic plant and litter collections have been scheduled over the coming weeks.”
Mr Viner said the council was hoping to have the fountain fully operational in the near future.
“While attempting to fix the fountain at Lake Caroline, officers discovered the pump and motor will need to be replaced,” he said.
“These replacement parts are being organised.”
The residents’ committee has also expressed concerns that water is being drained from the lake to water nearby sporting fields.
They say lower water levels make the significant weed coverage even more visible.
Mr Viner said the council did use water from the lake. But he said the drop in levels was largely created by evaporation, which can be as much as 20 millimetres on hot, windy days.
“The council does capture excess storm water in Lake Caroline for the purposes of watering the sporting grounds at Caroline Springs Recreation Reserve,” he said.
“But compared to the volume of water in Lake Caroline, this use is very limited.
“Low water levels at the lake are a result of a lack of rainfall and evaporation.”