Council staff and lake-users have teamed up to form a committee that will look for long-term solutions for the blue-green algae lingering in Lake Albert.
Peter Clucas of Riverina Ski Sports, who was among the lake users and business people to join the committee, said the group is calling on the council to take action by wintertime.
“We believe there’s a solution well under $1 million that will dramatically improve the water quality in Lake Albert, so now we're just calling on council to prioritise it,” Mr Clucas said.
“They just allocated $11 million for bike tracks, they’re re-tiling the Oasis, which they already spend $1 million a year running, and they just spent $750,000 doing the car park at Apex Park – so we're calling on council to make this a priority, too.”
The solution Mr Clucas referred to was infrastructure that will divert more water from the Tatton Drain into Lake Albert; a solution he said had already been fully costed and tested by the council’s own engineers.
Mr Clucas said the first meeting was very promising, and the committee intends to continue meeting once a month until a solution is reached.
“It went well, probably because we told the council to stop talking and to start acting,” he said.
“We're very positive that this new committee is going to start making progress, because we’ve got new blood in the council, new engineers, a new general manager and some new planning staff who seem to be looking at things in an a positive light.”
Ben Creighton, Wagga City Council’s strategic asset planner for parks and recreation, was among the council staff present at the committee meeting.
Mr Creighton said the new committee was part of the council’s ongoing commitment to working with the community on a solution.
“Council staff have been meeting with representatives from the community for a number of years now to work through a number of different aspects around Lake Albert,” he said.
”There's no simple solutions for Lake Albert, either for the water diversion or for the ongoing algae issue, however, we are working with the community and investigating a few different options, so hopefully we'll be able to provide a solution.”
The council said a recent sample taken from the lake showed a drop in the amount of blue-green algal cells, but contact with the water was still not advised.