A Wagga councillor has dismissed claims that someone offered to dredge the algae-ridden Lake Albert for free a few years ago as nothing more than rumour.
The widely-known story goes that someone offered to dredge Lake Albert for free about six years ago, however, Wagga City Council refused their offer because they stood to make a neat profit from on-selling the dredged dirt.
However, Cr Kerry Pascoe said there was no record of such an offer and challenged the person who allegedly made it to come forward.
“I can find no one that offered to dredge the lake free of charge,’ Cr Pascoe said.
“That’s a story that’s been around for a long while now, and I’d just like the person who made that offer to give me some verification, because it just seems like someone’s started a story here.”
While Cr Pascoe said he understood how important the lake was to the local community, he said the council simply could not afford to dredge it.
“I really appreciate what the lake means to the community and also those visitors that come to the city,” he said.
“The cost of fully dredging the lake was roughly $11 million, and it would have been a huge logistical effort to do that.”
While dredging the lake may be not be feasible, the council is now progressing plans to harvest storm water from the Tatton Drain to help reduce future algal growth.
Algae thrives in warm temperatures, so diverting the Tatton Drain would mean a great volume of water in the lake and, therefore, a lower water temperature.
This comes as Lake Albert enters its third month of blue-green algae infestation, marking the longest algae outbreak in the lake’s history.