GMW is required to manage the safety of the public when they visit the Cairn Curran embankment area, and the ongoing safe operation and maintenance of the storage assets including the embankment, spillway and tower, while also continuing to provide a duty of care to GMW staff while they are at work. To ensure this is achieved, GMW will be implementing a public exclusion zone on the embankment immediately adjacent to the spillway at Cairn Curran Reservoir and a permanent fence installed.

Outside of scheduled maintenance, there is currently no exclusion zone in force around the spillway and embankment wall – both within the water and on land. During the summer months, visitors to the reservoir often swim near the spillway embankment impacting the safe operation of the gates should they be required.

While the closure of the embankment itself is required for safety reasons, GMW acknowledges that this is a significant change for local residents and visitors and is committed to working with them to develop a suitable outcome that not only meets GMW’s safety and operational requirements but also continues to delivers a functional recreational space for visitors.

GMW would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Baringhup Community Group sub-committee about the embankment closure at Cairn Curran Reservoir. GMW is pleased to inform the wider community about the outcomes from this partnership.

GMW will now construct a security fence around the depot area. A separate security fence will enclose the embankment and will connect to existing fences in this area.

The existing sealed road linking Cairn Curran Road to the Spillway Reserve will remain open for vehicles and pedestrians at designated times, to allow public access to the monument and spillway reserve. This road may be closed for short periods during flood operations and programmed maintenance operations.

There will be no changes to current access from the western side of the main embankment. The recommended access will be from the Spillway Reserve or from Baringhup Road on either side of the Loddon River.

GMW will begin discussions with Mount Alexander Shire (who manage some of the river reserve) and the Baringhup Landcare Group about the proposed nature walk downstream of the spillway on the eastern side of the Loddon River.

Public access will be trialled from 6am to 8.30am and 4.30pm to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday, in daylight hours.

GMW is committed to working with the local community and visitors of Cairn Curran to develop a solution that not only ensures the ongoing safe operation and maintenance of the storage assets including the embankment, spillway and tower, but also continues to deliver a functional recreational space for visitors to the reservoir.

GMW is partnering with the local Baringhup Community Group sub committee specifically formed to work with GMW on the details of the embankment closure. This partnership work will inform future engagement and communication activities in relation to the closure.

Summaries of engagement activities undertaken are made available under “What we’ve heard” following each activity.

Community survey

During October 2021, GMW conducted an online survey to understand the impacts the embankment closure would have and begin to explore other recreational offerings at Cairn Curran. There were 139 responses received and a summary of the survey results can be found here, opens in a new window.

Small community group discussions

On Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 January 2022, GMW hosted five small community group discussions at Cairn Curran with over 30 members of the local community to hear their thoughts on the embankment closure. A summary of these discussions can be seen through the following link small community group discussions feedback, opens in a new window.