Residents at Lake Cathie have taken matters into their own hands in a bid to make the authorities listen and act to restore the health of their ailing waterway.
Community members are invited to meet the people who make up the newly formed Revive Lake Cathie group, formed after growing concern about the evaporating lake, water quality and its future.
The committee will be at the Kenwood Drive Bridge on Monday, March 25 between 4pm and 5pm and invite concerned members of the community to join them.
A spokesperson from the group said the body was set up to meet the needs of the Lake Cathie community and put a spotlight on issues surrounding what they believe is neglect of the lake and its surrounding environment.
On Tuesday, March 19 the group held its first AGM and elected Danielle Maltman as president, Sue East as vice president, Sally Drinkwater as secretary, Cara Dale as treasurer and Lisa Willows in public relations. Committee members Danielle Crisp and Warren Dyer formalised the board.
A spokesperson from the group said key issues raised at the first meeting included the quality of the water, as well as failures of previous and current management policy.
The volunteer group highlighted policy change as the major issue to address, followed by reviews of the Kenwood Drive and Ocean Drive bridges and the restoration of Lake Innes to its former pristine state.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has no plans of opening the lake despite the critically low water levels reaching the trigger point for an artificial opening.
Previous calls by residents to bring together willing participants to manually open the lake by 'shovel brigade' have also been thwarted by the authorities.
The board presented the idea of research pods led by experts on specific issues relating to the lake's health.
"Strategically formulated research pods will amalgamate volunteers, based on their specific areas of interest regarding the lake system," the spokesperson said.
For information on the group please visit the Revive Lake Cathie Facebook page.