GREEN’S Lake will be closed again this New Year’s Eve.
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) customer operations general manager Scott Barber said this would be the fourth year Green’s Lake was closed on New Year’s Eve at the request of the region’s emergency services.
‘‘This is not a decision that has been made lightly, but the concerns raised with us by local emergency services and community members cannot be ignored,’’ he said.
Local emergency services approached GMW in 2014 asking the water corporation to close the lake.
Police were concerned a tragedy could occur after detecting underage drinking, an unlicensed bar and serious assaults occuring.
Country Fire Authority (CFA) representatives also raised concerns about illegal fireworks being set off during the peak of fire season.
Stanhope Police Leading Senior Constable Bob Naismith said police and the CFA made the call to close the lake based on public safety. ‘‘This is about saving lives,’’ he said. ‘‘We honestly believe there was a very real chance a tragedy would occur.
‘‘The actions of drug and alcohol-affected people can put their own and others’ lives at risk.’’
CFA District 20 operations manager John Cutting said illegal fireworks not only posed a serious risk to lives but they could start significant fires.
‘‘While many people see illegal fireworks as an innocent celebration, they can cause serious issues for fire services,’’ he said.
Corop General Store owner Denielle Sarson said she doesn’t understand why the lake will be closed. ‘‘I don’t understand, there has never been any major incidents there on other high-tourist weekends,’’ she said. ‘‘My question is why close it only on New Year’s?’’
The lake will be closed from noon on Friday, December 29 to noon on Monday, January 1.