Knox City Council voted against raising the water level of the lake at CSR Quarry Reserve in Ferntree Gully at a meeting yesterday.

Councillor Karin Orpen said about $500,000 may have to be spent if dumping clean fill to raise water levels went ahead.

A council report said it could take up to seven years to raise the water level.

About 20,000 truck deliveries would be required to bring in enough dirt.

Councillors were concerned about the disruption to residents during the lake filling process.


Cr Orpen said there would be a “huge disruption” to residents and the park could be a “construction site” for seven years.

Councillor John Mortimore said raising the water level would make “very little difference” to the park.

“It’s not worth the heartache, the discomfort, the dust, the dirt and at times the danger,” he said.

Councillor Nicole Seymour said the council did not have an “open chequebook”.

“We can’t keep going to rate payers to ask for money for nice to do projects,” she said.

But Councillor Adam Gill said he was concerned the lake was not accessible to everyone at it’s current level.

He said more residents would be able to use the park if the water level was raised to reduce the steepness of the path.

Cr Gill said raising the water level was “not just about aesthetic” but about community wellbeing.

“Healthy parks, healthy people,” he said.

Cr Seymour said she recognised raising the lake would have “significant” aesthetic value but said it was not a reason to spend an “excess” amount of money.

Former Knox Environment Society President Darren Wallace said raising the lake’s water level would be bad for the environment.

A pair of Peregrine Falcons had nested on the rocky cliffs at Quarry Reserve for 20 years.

Mr Wallace said a raised water level may force the falcons away because it would mean people were closer to their nests.

He said it would be a “shame” to lose the falcons.

“Peregrine Estate would be an estate without the animal it was named after,” he said.

The 2008 plan to transform the quarry to a reserve included creating play areas, boardwalks around the lake, cycle paths and indigenous plant gardens.

Paths, garden bed areas, seating and a viewing deck have already been completed.

UPGRADES TO THE RESERVE: New paths have already been completed at CSR Quarry Reserve. Picture: Rochelle Kirkham.

About $1.62 million has been spent on the project since 2008.

“It is considered that the community is starting to make good use of the park,” a council report said.

Cr Mortimore said the reserve was an example of what can be done with a disused quarry.

Coordinator for Open Space and Landscape Design Marshall Kelaher said the original intention of raising the lake was to maximise views of the water for aesthetic value.