Multi million dollar upgrades start soon for iconic landmark
PLANS for upgrades and new facilities at Lake Proserpine, or Peter Faust Dam, are set to materialise as council prepares to install pontoons and camping areas by the end of the year.
Whitsunday Regional Council director of major projects Tim Rose said this week that a master plan had been completed at the end of last year and more than $3 million in funding had been approved through applications to the State Government's Building our Regions program for the project.
Council has signed a 30-year lease to take over some of the land from SunWater, and is now preparing to begin work.
"What we want to do is firstly put in some boating facilities and a couple of fishing pontoons," Mr Rose said.
"We're aiming for two to three pontoons, one for fishing and the others for boating.
"We're also looking at how to accommodate RVs, caravans and tent camping, and in the short term to let people start using the dam for better recreational outcomes.
People go fishing there but only on day trips so there's no opportunity to stay at night - this is about expanding their opportunities for further recreation."
Mr Rose said the dam was well known as a fishing location, and the aim now was to provide overnight options for individuals or groups.
"We're hoping to get the pontoons in before the end of the calendar year, and have at least some temporary camping by the end of September."
He said existing barbecues and signs would be upgraded and other services such as mobile phone coverage, electricity, telephone and water would be improved.
"I think this will create different opportunities for tourism and give more people the chance to go fishing there as well as giving Proserpine a boost.
"It will be good for windy days and when people can't get to Whitehaven they will look at the dam as an option, so it adds to the overall tourist product in the shire."
Mr Rose said increased tourism and travel to the dam would create extra demand for services and supplies from town, and he expected more interstate and international travellers would be attracted to the area.
"We get a bit of local traffic on the weekends and there's a few fishing charters but it's limited with the opportunities people have got."