Turn off the current lake lights plan

December 5, 2021 BY

Dim view: Examples of the lamp post currently proposed for use around Steve Moneghetti track have been on display for almost a year on the south-west edge of Lake Wendouree. Photo: FILE

-OPINION

 

THE proposed installation of two-hundred and twenty-five, five-and-half-metre-tall aluminium lamp posts on the perimeter of the lake is both wrong and regrettable.

It should be cause enough to galvanise everyone into affirmative action for an immediate review, and change of plans!

For all those who value and utilise the lake and its facilities, it is time to band together and raise your voices in disapproval.

Active involvement with a cause requires serious consideration and should be taken seriously. The prospect of the posts becoming a permanent fixture of the lake is so unsettling we cannot stand-by watching without considered comment, and action.

The problem lies not with the concept, which is to be applauded, but the execution thereof.

It is inconceivable, given the climate conference which has now ended in Glasgow, that five of Ballarat’s nine councillors (deputy-mayor Cr Amy Johnson was absent) have voted for the installation of aluminium posts, the production of aluminium being one of the most environmentally destructive processes, and requires an inordinate consumption of electricity, generated using fossil fuel.

United Nations Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres said, “Our fragile planet is hanging by a thread.”

Sceptics notwithstanding, science has spoken. It is a reality. We live in environmentally problematic times. Fragile ecosystems are being compromised. They need our serious protection. It may come to pass, 30 years hence, the proposed 225 aluminium lamp posts are the catalyst for an environmental tragedy impacting everything living on, and around, the lake.

Ballart is especially well served for academic brilliance – those graduates specialised in a precise discipline and whose measured voices of science and reason should be heard, and well heeded.

Dr Philip Barton and Professor Peter Gell are two balanced experts whose counsel should have been sought before the final choice was agreed. Hubris has no part in the process.

Disturbingly on several levels, the proffered aluminium lamp posts, of which there were two (one with a chamfer and one without), were the only selection choices presented by the City of Ballarat officers to councillors.

Bollard lighting and concealed in-ground lighting – which are the obvious choices – were never offered as an option. That is a most egregious lapse in judgement.

The production process of aluminium requires such an inordinate amount of electricity generated by fossil fuel – that aluminium lamp posts are known in the industry as ‘solid electricity’!

We need to proceed with caution, and serious consideration.

The argument for and against should not involve vested interests; it is about protecting the lake for future generations, and which belongs to the people of Ballarat.

If these lamp posts are installed the collective residents should call for the councillors to be sacked, immediately.

They are the harbinger of a looming environmental disaster!

 

Roland Rocchiccioli has joined a group of concerned citizens, including Western Victoria upper house MP Beverley McArthur, Dr Penelope Greenslade, Professor Peter Gell, Professor George Kannourakis, lighting expert Wesley McKnight, architect Alan Morton, photographer Peter Keravec, and Judith Bailey, all of whom are opposed to the current lighting design for Lake Wendouree.

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