Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman has ‘mixed feelings’ about City of Bayswater commitment to restore lakes’ health

Down to the waterline: Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott.
Down to the waterline: Friends of Maylands Lakes chairman Geoff Trott.

FRIENDS of Maylands Lakes (FOML) chairman Geoff Trott has “mixed feelings” towards City of Bayswater council’s $1.7 million commitment to restore the health of Maylands Lakes in future budgets.

The group was formed in April 2016 after residents became concerned about murky water and stench at the 16-year-old Bungana and Brearley lakes.

At last week’s committee meeting, council gave principle support for FOML’s preference to implement pollutant traps on drains, revegetation and dredging. .

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Funding allocation would be considered as part of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 budget processes.

According to an officer’s report, FOML put forward an alternative approach to trial a small floating wetland before implementing floating wetlands on a significant scale, which was supported by officers.

Mr Trott said the group felt optimistic about council’s decision to support the restoration of the lakes.

“(Council) also support that we could get funds for a community education program where we are able to do that,” he said.

“For us, that is a huge step forward but I guess we are not raising our champagne glasses just yet because we know that we are competing with a lot of things in the budget.

“We do not know whether Maylands Lakes will get a guernsey.”

Mr Trott said the group would continue to explore more avenues for funding to fix the lakes.

“In the overall scheme of things, if you’re talking about almost $2 million, it is not going to put a very big dent…it will help to do a little bit of planting,” he said.

“The lakes are in such a condition that because they are so large, we are talking about 16ha of lakes so it is a massive water body.

Mayor Barry McKenna said the City would address issues of poor water quality and algal blooms.

“Since considering a report into the decline in water quality at Maylands lakes in April 2015 the City embarked on a 12 month monitoring program that subsequently informed a report that provided costed options into its future management,” he said.

“The City has worked closely with the FOML to address issues resulting from the decline in water quality at the Maylands Lakes and on March 22, adopted a management plan for its rehabilitation.

“The plan would see the completion of a detailed design and survey of the lakes, pollutant traps on drains, revegetation, dredging, piloting of floating wetlands and the installation of solar pumps.”