Latrobe City Council has made the difficult decision to close Lake Narracan Caravan Park from 10 December 2022, with public health and environmental concerns bringing forward future planning to relocate the park.
As part of the decision-making process, Latrobe City Council committed to investing in a business case to establish a new purpose-built caravan park at Lake Narracan as part of the existing Lake Narracan Precinct Structure Plan. Council believes the Lake Narracan precinct provides a great investment opportunity and is committed to working through the business case process.
Council made the challenging decision to close the park at its September 2022 meeting, following an extensive investigation process to find solutions to the ongoing challenges caused by ageing wastewater infrastructure, resulting in non-compliance with the Environment Protection Act 2017.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) issued Council with two Notice of Improvements relating to stormwater and wastewater management at the caravan park in October 2021.
The notices required Council to modify its stormwater and wastewater management systems to remove the risk of untreated wastewater entering the nearby roadside drainage system and then into the waterway.
Further investigation and advice from independent environmental engineering consultants, outlined that achieving full compliance would be highly complex and require significant investment due to the age and condition of the existing infrastructure, which has been in place since the early 1990s.
Council also considered the option of increasing the cost to site holders, however, the increase for cost recovery over four years would have resulted in an annual increase of $5,300, a 400% increase, for the next four years. This option was considered cost-prohibitive for site holders.
At its meeting on 3 October 2022, Council resolved to provisionally allocate $1.5 million to connect the Lake Narracan Foreshore Precinct to the waste treatment plant.
Council will work closely with the Park Managers and licence holders over the coming months, leading up to and following the park's closure.
All licence holders have been contacted and will not be charged for the 2022/23 site fees.