Mill Dam as been closed to vehicles for winter

The Northern Midlands Council has closed the Mill Dam to vehicle traffic. 

During winter the reserve is prone to flooding and to keep the grounds in good condition, the council closed the reserve until further notice.

Northern Midlands mayor David Downie said closing the grounds was common sense.  

“It happens every year. It’s closed to try and protect the area from vehicles cutting up the area,” he said.  

Cr Downie said the reserve’s closure wasn’t a result of “hooning”. 

“We’re just stopping vehicles going into the area because of the damage they can do,” he said. 

Cr Downie said closing the area showed good management by the council. 

“It’s a beautiful area. People walk there and if vehicles have the potential to damage it then it’s a good idea to keep them out of there. The council is only showing proven management of that asset by protecting it,” he said.

Cr Downie said he hadn’t heard of a push to have vehicle access through winter. 

“I haven’t heard anything from like the Longford District Committee or any community groups that are complaining about it,” he said

The reserve will still be accessible to those on foot through the walkway near the boat ramp on Union Street.

 It is unknown when the reserve will be reopened. The council’s website states the area is normally opened about the beginning of November.

“It will depend on the condition of the ground at the end of the winter. If it’s dry then it’ll be opened earlier, but if it’s wet you’d expect it to be opened later. Last year we had a flood in November,” Cr Downie said. 

The council hadn’t considered any other options. 

“Normally the rain comes through during winter and it gets wet and floods. The council doesn’t want to go and put roads in because they will just get washed away when it floods,” Cr Downie said.  

The council’s website advises the grounds are usually open between 8am and 6pm daily. The reserve has composting toilets and picnic tables, with no overnight camping allowed. It is advised to contact the council on 6397 7303 prior to using the grounds.