Curious, I stepped into the Council Chambers one day last week to see whether there was a pamphlet or something about council’s plans for the Lake Inverell Reserve. There wasn’t, but I was courteously and helpfully spoken to by one of the staff who had come out to the counter. He gave me a map.
The map showed a sealed circuit, maybe a kilometre long and 6 metres wide. Two car parks were shown and these are meant to be locked when not in use for some sort of event. At present the two high schools and Ross Hill Public hold their cross countries at the sporting complex. (Inverell Public uses its own grounds and Rugby Park).
Talking to a councillor later, he mentioned that the Criterion following the Grafton to Inverell cycle race could be held there and this would avoid having to close the streets.
Now, all of these events are held only once a year and there seems to have been no crying out for facilities to which to hold them and the idea of having a specially built tar road circuit almost the same width as our country roads doesn’t seem very ‘cross country’ or fit in with the idea of a reserve.
And asking the people who gather to watch the finish of ‘the Grafton’ and to enjoy the stalls and music, to then be asked to traipse up to the Lake Inverell Reserve seems a bit ambitious.
If the same logic was applied to the Sapphire City Festival parade and the Anzac Day march where would we be then?
Another suggested use of the proposed area is that parents could take their children there to ride their bikes or to amuse themselves by riding around and round for fun. Possibly? - Yes. Probably? - No.
Kids would probably learn to ride their bikes and use them in much the same way as they have always done. And go all the way up there to ride round and round - seldom. Maybe more often and more interesting if the town’s bike cum walking network was extended. Any ideas about where?
The councillor I spoke to also said that preliminary clearing and putting in of stakes to mark the course of the sealed circuit had already been done.
It may also be useful to remember that Inverell had a cycle circuit at the Sporting Complex but it was seldom used and eventually demolished.
Inverell’s Lake Inverell is a tranquil, accessible and unique asset. Can you think of another town with something like it? Let’s reserve Lake Inverell Reserve by sensitively managing and maintaining it.