Western Victoria MP Joe McCracken has taken to Parliament in a last ditch effort to stop the Lake Wendouree Lighting Project.
The Member for Western Victoria spoke in the state’s Upper House this week to raise an ‘adjournment debate’ over the contentious project that will see 225 light poles installed around the lake’s Steve Moneghetti track.
Mr. McCracken has asked Minister for the Environment Ingrid Stitt to step in and immediately halt the project, giving her time to meet with concerned residents and find a more environmentally friendly solution.
He says the move isn’t to stop the project completely, it is to find a more “appropriate” solution.
“If the project is to meet Australian Standard lighting, lighting around the lake has to occur 27-30 metres between each lighting pole. However, this directly conflicts with (the City of Ballarat’s) Tree Protection Policy, which states that no structure can be built within 12 lengths of a tree.”
The City of Ballarat has denied that its plans breach either the national standard, or its own policy around tree protection zones.
Additionally, McCracken has taken aim at the City of Ballarat’s plans to bore down to lay electrical wiring and the future ramifications.
“Holes must be hand drilled, not using a machine, to minimise the disturbance to trees; let’s get the right outcome, if we don’t we’re stuck with it for a long time with potentially many less trees as well.”
To this point, the City of Ballarat states that boring will be just 1-metre deep, ensuring the safety of tree roots.
The boring to begin laying electrical wiring for the poles is set to begin on Monday the 27th of February, likely pushing this week’s 11th hour push to stop the projects in its tracks.