Water flows at rec reserve

November 11, 2021 BY

On tap: Chair of the Maude Recreation Reserve committee Murray Satchell checks the water pressure of the space’s mains connected supply. Photo: ALISTAIR FINLAY

YOU might think that good access to water is a must for any public space designated as a recreation reserve, but until recently that wasn’t the case in one part of the Shire.

See, Maude Recreation Reserve is a little different.

Instead of a footy oval and netball courts it’s got a lookout with sweeping views of the Moorabool Valley and free public camping.

Rather than high visitor numbers on Saturdays, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings, people can be found at Maude Rec Reserve all the time.

And that led to an issue that was holding the space back – a lack of water.

Now, following a Federal Government grant and work done by Golden Plains Shire, the space is connected to mains water that services the site’s public toilets and camp kitchen.

“When were on tank water and during the summer season when we get a lot of campers up here, every three of four weeks the tank was running out and we’d have to get a load of water in,” said Murray Satchell, chair of the Maude Recreation Reserve committee.

“It was ridiculous when over the road there was a 28-inch water main. It took three-and-a-half-years to get a pipe to go 100 yards, but we’ve got it on now!

“And now there’s no panicking because all of a sudden the toilets have run out of water.”

Originally $15,500 from the Shire’s $1.3 million allocation out of the first round of the COVID-19 stimulus Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was set aside for the job.

However, a further $18,500 had to be pumped into the project by the Shire when it was discovered a cultural heritage management plan created in conjunction with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners was required.

“With the stimulus money we were able to fund the work a lot quicker,” said Shire mayor Cr Helena Kirby said.

“It’s a great project that’s come out of the community and as a council we were pleased to find the funding opportunity.”

Federal Member for Ballarat, Catharine King, whose electorate will take in the Maude area at the next election, praised the work and the consultation with Traditional Owners.

“Reliable town water will make a real difference to tourists accessing the camping area as well as locals having a day out with the kids at the local playground,” she said.

“The Wadawurrung people have looked after this land for thousands of years. Given the importance of this site to traditional owners, it is essential that all changes are carried out with their input and support.”

Now the mains water is connected, Mr Satchell said there was even more reason for people to stop by the lookout and enjoy the public space.

“Six or seven years ago the lookout grew a bit like Topsy. It was going to be a little platform and it became Bunjil, which is a brilliant facility and very popular,” he said.

“People are coming and going all the time. They drive into see it, use the facilities, the barbecues get used a lot. It’s been a real asset for the district.”