HINDMARSH Shire Council will provide $10,000 towards an application for a pontoon at Nhill Lake.
Councillors agreed at a meeting on Wednesday to include a cash contribution with its application to the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s Recreational Fishing Grants program.
The program provides funding for projects costing between $5000 and $100,000, and preference is given to projects that have a co-funding or in-kind contribution.
Council has already installed pontoons on the Wimmera River at Jeparit and Dimboola, with the latter installed last year.
Council contributed money to both projects: $10,000 towards construction at Dimboola, and $8000 after the Jeparit pontoon was installed to create access pathways and boundary bollards.
Hindmarsh mayor Ron Ismay said the Nhill Lake Committee had requested the fishing pontoon.
He said it would give people – particularly those with mobility issues – easier and safer access to the lake.
Council estimates the Nhill pontoon will cost between $45,000 and $50,000. This would include all works associated with the project, including the pontoon installation, installing concrete abutment anchor points, access pathways, and signs.
Nhill Lake Committee will also provide in-kind support, to supply and install gravel access pathways, bollards and other landscaping as required.
Cr Ismay said the Nhill structure would be similar to the Dimboola pontoon.
“The Dimboola and Jeparit ones were different costs, so it depends how big they want to go with the Nhill one as to exactly how much it will cost,” Cr Ismay said.
“The Dimboola one required more infrastructure to be built to get to the pontoon, whereas there might not be the need for the same level of extra infrastructure at Nhill, as people might be able to walk to that one a lot easier.
“The pontoons give people an opportunity to get out over the water to fish, rather than having to stand on the bank. At Dimboola and Jeparit especially, it’s hard to fish off the banks of the river because they are steep.”
Cr Ismay said it was disappointing the Jeparit pontoon was vandalised last year.
“Someone had thrown a huge rock through the plastic decking,” he said.
Cr Ismay said he hoped people would be more respectful in future.
He said council, the lake committee and Nhill Town Committee would liaise further about the town’s pontoon.
Council will submit its grant application by the end of the month.