Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel

There is light at the end of the tunnel, according to Lakes Entrance Action Development Association (LEADA).

Following a disastrous summer of bushfires, coupled with coronavirus restrictions halting the economy, LEADA is seeing a ray of hope appear recently with tourists and locals enjoying the fine weather the town over the long weekend and even this weekend.

“Hopefully this is the prelude to a bumper summer tourist season,” LEADA president, Bruce Hurley, said.

“In addition, we saw the framework of the new lookout at lower Jemmys Point arrive on site ready to be installed as a replacement for the old lookout last week.

“To support the recovery of the town, LEADA will continue to advocate for the completion of long awaited infrastructure projects by the Melbourne Cup long weekend.

“These include the completion of the lower Jemmys Point Lookout, completion of the Esplanade foreshore upgrade, including landscaping, and upgrading of the slipway and further improvements to Bullock Island.”

LEADA will be calling a town meeting in August to hear about these key projects as well as projects that are scheduled to be finished during the next couple of years. 

These projects include a playground near the footbridge, completion of Bullock Island developments, improvements to the network of bike and walking tracks and a lookout at the top of Jemmys Point.

“These developments all rely on the continuing support from all three levels of government,” Mr Hurley said.

“Several of these projects will require community involvement for their success - the playground from families with children, the Tatungalung walking circuit from both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community, landscaping advice from the garden club, the planned working bees to upgrade the Entrance walk and the planned reestablishment by LEADA of Friends of Bullock Island.

“Infrastructure projects for Lakes Entrance are vital but equally so is the creation of a lively, inclusive and welcoming atmosphere in the town. “Initiatives such as The Tatungalung all abilities walking circuit, the Slipway Collective’s plans for the Slipway redevelopment and initiatives undertaken by many local businesses during the lockdown period are all steps that will help to achieve this. 

“We need to spread the word that Lakes Entrance is open for business and is a great location for tourists to visit.” 

“Following the disasters the town has faced, a base is being built for an optimistic future.”

Mayor Cr John White said Lakes Entrance was a hive of construction activity, progressing projects throughout the town for the benefit of both visitors and businesses.

Cr White said the lifting of the main structure for the new Jemmys Point Lookout (stage one) into place was a highlight and marked a significant milestone in completing the new lookout.

“Council’s project team has reported that the installation went very well and couldn’t have asked for better weather for the lift. The precast panel decking, and concrete ramp, stairs and strip footings will now be completed. We are anticipating the lookout will be available for the community and visitors within six weeks.”

Cr White said works continue on the design of stage two of the lookout project, a second site located in the reserve at the end of Lookout Road.

“The community can anticipate an opportunity to provide feedback on various concept plans for the new structure to be built at the Lookout Road site in the coming weeks,” Cr White said.

Cr White also said the second stage of Lakes Entrance seawall replacement and enhancement project between Carpenter and Myer streets is progressing well on schedule.

“The project, partly funded by the State Government, will be finished by September and includes installation of a new concrete panel wall in front of the existing aged wall,” Cr White said.

“The wall will feature an attractive boardwalk and stainless-steel handrail.”

Streetscaping works along the northern side of The Esplanade are also taking shape.

“These works are being led by Regional Roads Victoria with joint funding from council. RRV is making good progress with the concrete paving using decorative treatments, new kerb, major parking upgrades, and accessibility and safety improvements,” Cr White said.

“Works will continue to progress toward Barkes Avenue and once the seawall project is complete, RRV will return to the eastern end of The Esplanade in September.”

IMAGE: Upgrades and improvements to iconic parts of Lakes Entrance – the Jemmys Point Lookout and the Esplanade footpath and seawall – are well underway. (PS)