By Luke Voogt
Victoria’s largest new lake in years will soon appear on Geelong’s doorstep, companies planning the project have revealed.
Fresh water will fill a limestone quarry near Fyansford under their rehabilitation plans, creating a lake 30 metres deep, 164 hectares in area and five kilometres in perimeter.
The McCann family first established the quarry in the 1800s as a source of limestone for cement.
But when cement production ceased in 2001, State Government, the McCanns and ASX-listed supplier Adelaide Brighton developed plans to rehabilitate the quarry.
The existing quarry was approaching the end of its useful life, Adelaide Brighton chief executive officer Nick Miller explained.
“(We) would like to ensure that following completion of rehabilitation, the quarry site can be an asset for the enjoyment of the Geelong residents and visitors,” he said.
The project partners plan to switch off pumps that currently keep the quarry dry to enable extraction of lime for agriculture.
The quarry floor, which is below sea level, will naturally fill with rain and lime-filtered groundwater.
The lake will take several years to reach its final depth and a volume of more than 48 billion litres, the project partners estimated.
The water body will be more than twice the size of Mt Gambier’s Blue Lake and could be part of one of Australia’s largest city-fringe parklands, they said
Adelaide Brighton will manage rehabilitated quarry until the water level is fully recharged and design some edges of the lake for recreational access.
The future lake and surrounding green spaces would be part of a link of the Barwon and Moorabool rivers and Cowies Creek, promoters said.
Bill McCann said his family had enjoyed the area along the river for generations.
“We would like to leave something behind that future generations of people can continue to use and enjoy.”