Lake Liddell Recreation Area officials recognised for park's revamp

AWESOME AWARD: Park manager Ged Elphinstone (left) and chairman Stephen Thatcher (centre) have had a huge impact on Lake Liddell Recreation Area.
AWESOME AWARD: Park manager Ged Elphinstone (left) and chairman Stephen Thatcher (centre) have had a huge impact on Lake Liddell Recreation Area.

IT would be extremely difficult to breathe new life into a park sitting on a lake that can't be swam in, but Stephen Thatcher and the team at Lake Liddell Recreation Area (LLRA) have done just that in recent times.

The park has been nominated for the Department of Planning and Industry Crown Land Manager Excellence Award, which is a true testimony to what the staff have managed to accomplish over the past few years.

According to a state government release, the prize will be handed out to 'an entity that is appointed to be responsible for the care, control and management of Crown reserves on behalf of the people of NSW'.

LLRA has worked extremely hard to find themselves in this position, with numerous setbacks over land rights and environmental issues getting in the way of their vision.

However they have remained positive and made it a great destination to visit through the addition of exciting and innovative improvements.

A go-cart track, climbing wall, indoor skydiving and laser tag have all been added as part of a business run by park managers Ged and Julie Elphinstone.

A maze, children's playground and a new disc golf course are also on their way.

However a lot of less flashy work has also been put in, with redone road services, a repaired and extended boat ramp, foreshore stabilisation, addition of over 20,000 plants, mulching trials, salinity trials and amenities block renovation all being completed.

Mr Thatcher, who is the chairman, praised the pair for their incredible input to the project.

"If these awards recognised outstanding contributions for park managers then Ged and Julie would be a standout nomination," he said.

"Without their drive and determination the reserve would still be in the dark ages."

There have been some significant struggles along the way, most telling of which was the discovery of amoeba naegleria fowleri during August 2016, which saw AGL shut down the lake due to safety concerns.

As a result those in charge had to brainstorm ways to keep LLRA relevant without water based activities.

Despite patronage plummeting at the time, it has bounced back and the likes of Mr Thatcher and the Elphinstones are finally getting credit; should they win, they would be awarded with $2000 and a trophy.

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