Stage one for lake set

The state government have set another deadline for Lake Kepawari with the first stage expected to be open by June 2020.

Local contractors have been making strides with Cardinals Contracting have recently completed upgrades to 2.2km of the access road to the lake and South West company Leeuwin Civil has been engaged to complete other day use area works.

A Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction spokesperson said the department was granted approval from Premier Coal to access the site and undertake works in November and have progressed quickly.

"The plan is to open the lake in stages as new facilities are completed," she said.

"An opening date for the first stage of works is expected to occur in May-June 2020. As the current works are progressed and nearing completion, a firmer date for an opening can be determined."

Leeuwin Civil is set to build a dual lane boat ramp and finger jetty, new access road to the boat ramp, parking areas for boat trailers and cars as well as other landscape works.

Local member for Collie-Preston Mick Murray has welcomed the works and said he was pleased to see Collie workers involved in the ongoing construction.

"Lake Kepwari has been a hot-topic of conversation for quite some time now and I'm glad to see work now being done on the ground to put in place important facilities which will transform the lake into a premier tourist destination," he said.

"It was fantastic to see a number of familiar faces on site when I recently visited because the contractors have made the smart decision to employ locals where they can.

"I'm excited by the progress I saw on site and before we know it we'll all be diving in to take our first dip."

It is expected the work will be completed by June - weather permitting - and the lake will then be opened to the public in stages as further facilities are put in place.

The redevelopment of the old mine pit into a major water sports destination has been a point of debate for the Collie community and government ministers for the past 11 years.

The WA Labor Party promised locals they would have the state's biggest freshwater lake in the 2008 state election and again in 2017 it promised the completion of the lake within six months.

The project received a funding boost in December when an additional $2.7 million was allocated, bringing the total allocated to $5.7 million.