The picturesque Blue Lake at Jenolan Caves is set to become a major drawcard in its own right thanks to multi-million dollar funding from the NSW Government, said Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole.
Blue Lake is currently undergoing a makeover with heavy machinery on site dredging thousands of cubic meters of sand and silt from the upper reaches of waterway’s spillway.
Mr. Toole has been onsite with Jenolan Caves general manager, Jodie Anderson, and construction experts to see first-hand the magnitude of the project.
The work is part of more than $20 million worth of upgrades to the Jenolan Caves precinct aimed at breathing new life into what is recognised as one of the state’s premier tourist destinations.
Mr. Toole said that the valve at the bottom of the spillway was under more than four meters of silt with the actual water level quite shallow because of the build-up.
“So far about 10,000 cubic metres of silt has been dredged from Blue Lake and it’s now down to the bedrock,” he said.
“You really have to admire the work of Public Works Advisory project manager Wayne Bell and his team in driving this project because of the highly sensitive, difficult and challenging environment they are working in.
“A special road had to be built to get access to the site and then it had to be covered with steel sections to stabilise the pathway for use by heavy machinery.”
Also, Mr Toole added that work started in mid-July, although rain caused a halt to operations for a six week period.
Once completed, it is expected that the upgrades will mean close to 400,000 people will be able to visit Jenolan Caves every year.