Local trio Callan Baldwin, Sam Armstrong and Dave Gladman are behind a push for a cable wake park to be constructed in Shepparton and they are quickly gaining a lot of support.By Riahn Smith
An online petition calling for the construction of a cable wake park in Shepparton has attracted thousands of supporters.
The Facebook page has received more than 2500 ‘‘likes’’ since its creation by local trio Dave Gladman, Sam Armstrong and Callan Baldwin on January 14.
The park would see those on wake boards or water skiis towed across a lake by a cable connected to a series of pylons.
Mr Gladman said the development of a cable wake park would provide a welcome boost to Shepparton’s tourism industry.
‘‘I went to Thailand and used the cable park there and I thought it would be a good spot in Shepp because we don’t have many tourist attractions,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s a lot of people around the Shepparton area who love water sports and places like Cobram and Echuca are based around water sports and a lot of people pass through Shepparton to get there.’’
Mr Gladman said Shepparton’s Victoria Park Lake would be ‘‘the perfect location’’, but acknowledged it would be a ‘‘tough sell’’ to get approval for the development from Greater Shepparton City Council.
‘‘If we do it in an existing lake it would be harder to do, but cheaper. If we dig our own lake we can get it to international standard, but it would be more expensive, but then we could host international, national and state championships,’’ he said.
He said any expressions of interest from potential investors would be welcome.
‘‘At the moment it’s just rough ideas, it’s early in the piece and we’re just trying to get some support,’’ he said.
Mr Gladman said he had approached Greater Shepparton councillor Fern Summer to gauge council’s interest and said she was ‘‘all for it’’.
Cr Summer said the development of a cable wake park would have ‘‘far reaching social and economic benefits’’ for the town.
‘‘Shepparton’s image would be completely transformed as a fun place for young people to live. We often see trailers with jet skis going out of town. A venture like this would actually bring people in,’’ Cr Summer said.
‘‘If it was up to me, a wake park would be immediately included in the council’s 10-year plan, but as an individual, I don’t have the capacity to make that decision.’’
Cr Summer said she was looking forward to discussing the option with other councillors.
In a statement to The News, a council spokesperson said a formal proposal on this project had not been received, but council would ‘‘encourage residents to bring their ideas (forward) for discussion’’.
The spokesperson said a cable wake park was considered during the redevelopment of Victoria Park Lake, but was deemed unsuitable.
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