Lithgow Council Mayor Ray Thompson recently joined Adam Marshall MP Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW and local Member Paul Toole MP at Lake Wallace to announce a NSW Recreational Fishing Trust grant for an accessible fishing pontoon suitable for fishers facing mobility difficulties.

As many locals know, Lake Wallace is a popular recreational fishing location stocked with a range of inland fish species, something that more and more visitors to the area are discovering.

Ray Tang from the Wallerawang Central Acclimatisation Society which holds regular fishing, restocking and pest species removal events at the lake, approached Lithgow City Council with the idea of constructing an accessible fishing platform on the lake. A number of the Society’s members are either in wheelchairs or face mobility difficulties that have prevented them from shore fishing or from accessing the best fishing spots on the lake.

After doing a lot of research into the best approach, it was decided that a modular floating platform made of interlocked and anchored floating blocks,  together with non-slip vinyl matting and guard rails would be the most suitable and affordable option. 

“This is an exciting project,” said the Mayor Ray Thompson. “Ray Tang and his group have been very active in promoting Lake Wallace as a fishing destination for many years and I’m pleased that it is going to be an even better fishing location for the increasing number of locals and visitors who go there, especially older people and people with a disability.”

The floating platform will be one of the first of its kind in inland NSW constructed solely for recreational fishing.  It will extend around 30 metres from shore to a deep hole where fishing is known to be good, giving fishers an opportunity to fish and to participate in community life. Being a modular floating system, it can easily be relocated elsewhere on the lake should fishing conditions change in the future.

The funding announcement coincided with the restocking of the lake with rainbow trout by the NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries and a further announcement of funding for fishing infrastructure at Mill Pond Portland.

“Mr Tang is to be commended for his work in bringing together a number of organisations to provide funding support for the project including his own organisation, Energy Australia, the CFMEU, South West Miners Union and Lithgow City Council. I would also like to thank Energy Australia for allowing this project to proceed,” concluded the Mayor.