Lake Albert could be getting an accessibility upgrade after council agreed to support a proposal to install an all-access wharf and complementary infrastructure at the lake.
The proposal for an accessible wharf was submitted by representatives of the Wagga Sailing Club, the Wagga Boat Club and the Bidgee Dragons, who hope to see all water sports accessible to all members of the community.
After councillors voted unanimously to support the project at Monday evening's council meeting, staff will investigate the viability of the project and work with the community groups to secure funding and finalise a design that will be presented to council for approval upon completion.
It is estimated the project will cost between $50,000 and $70,000 and it will be located in the south west corner of the lake. An initial design proposed a 20-metre jetty and eight-metre pontoon that would be equipped with accessible infrastructure. The project would also involve upgrading access to the site through road and car park updates.
President of the Bidgee Dragons Phillip Tome said planning for the wharf had been underway for at least a year, but council's decision to support the project on Monday evening was an important step.
"I think the move [on Monday] was good ... now we know that things are going to happen, we can go ahead and get a design that suits the majority of people," he said. "It's a community thing and the more people who can use [the wharf] the better."
Vice Commodore of the Wagga Sailing Club Doug Gilson said the need for better access first became apparent a number of years ago.
"We were getting a more mature group of people sailing who were starting to be limited in their physical capabilities of getting in and out of the boats," Mr Gilson said. "Then Sailability started out - sailing for people with disabilities - and they would have further problems getting in and out of their boats."
Council's strategic asset planner Ben Creighton said he was hopeful that something would be ready by early 2022.
"We'll be starting the investigations pretty much immediately," Mr Creighton said.
"I'll be hoping that within two or three months we'll be reporting back to council with what we're proposing for final approval, and looking to hopefully implement something early next year."
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