Caravan park gets blame for problems of Lake Ainsworth
By BREE PRICE
LYN Walker believes the Lennox Head Caravan Park must be closed to improve the health of Lake Ainsworth.
The lake has been closed for almost three weeks because of the presence of unsafe levels of blue-green algae.
Ms Walker, convenor of the Lake Ainsworth Community Access Group, said the caravan park had a significant impact on the condition of the lake.
"Any studies of the lake have shown it has a narrow catchment, and the caravan park is located in a most critical part of that catchment," she said.
"As tourism and residential populations continue to grow so does human usage (of the lake).
"During the holidays periods it's astronomical the number of people that are crammed in that tiny little strip of land.
"Can we afford to have over 1000 people living at the same time on the lake's catchment?
"We all know our beautiful and unique Lake Ainsworth is sick. It is sick from over- use and it needs room to breathe."
Ms Walker said the health of the lake could be improved if the land the caravan park occupied was regenerated into parkland.
"By planting more appropriate trees and opening up that catchment area as a park, most of the lake could be rehabilitated," she said.
Ballina Shire councillor Sharon Cadwallader said the future of the caravan park would be decided by a management plan for the lake that would be compiled by an independent consultant.
The council had initial plans to redevelop the caravan park, however the concept plans were not adopted and it was resolved to compile a master-plan for the area.
Cr Cadwallader said the health of the lake was a high priority, but without the caravan park an alternative source of income was needed to maintain the lake and its surroundings.