IN A major blow for the local tourism industry, Lake Liddell is now permanently closed for public recreation use.
AGL Macquarie confirmed on Friday morning that the closure would take effect immediately.
The decision has been made in the interests of public health and safety, following AGL detecting the amoeba naegleria fowleri in the lake.
AGL Macquarie general manager Ian Brooksbank said Lake Liddell, located between Muswellbrook and Singleton, had been closed since late March when the amoeba, which can cause a rare but fatal infection, was first detected.
“Since closing the lake earlier this year, AGL has been assessing the long term future of public access to the lake,” he said.
“The decision to close the lake permanently has been a difficult one.
“Public safety must come first and a thorough risk assessment process has reinforced our decision.
“We acknowledge this decision may be disappointing for regular Lake Liddell users.
“AGL is committed to the safety of our employees, contractors, neighbours and our local community, and the closure assists in limiting exposure to infection from amoeba in the lake.
“We have been meeting with the Lake Liddell Recreation Area Reserve Trust, Muswellbrook Shire Council and the NSW Government to work through the implications of Lake Liddell’s permanent public closure.
“These discussions will continue over coming weeks.”
While the lake itself is out of bounds to the public, the Lake Liddell Recreation Area is still operational.
“The facility remains open to campers, as well as users of GJs by the Lake,” Ged Elphinstone said.
“People can still enjoy the laser tag, indoor skydiving and rock-climbing activities on offer.
“We’re very disappointed in the closure of the lake, but it will not stop us from ensuring GJs continues to grow.”
For any inquiries, phone Mr Elphinstone 0477 551 174.