Mermaid SLSC Highlight the Importance to Maintain LHM for Primary Contact

Lake Hugh Muntz is an important training facility for our Nippers that learn the skills of swimming and board paddling in the Lake.  It is vital our Nippers as young as 7 years old,  begin to develop their confidence in a safe and controlled environment.   For these young kids, learning their skills is dependent on confidence and the flat water of  Lake Hugh Muntz is the best facility we have to help develop this.    Fear of marine life and large waves are not present at Lake Hugh Muntz and our kids have developed their skills here over several years.    This is a rare and valuable asset for all residents which must be protected.

It is the children such as those from Mermaid SLSC and other Surf Life Saving Clubs that are the future of Queensland Life Saving and protect Council Beaches.   I’m sure the Gold Coast Council is serious about protecting our valuable long term asset in Tourism.   If so, the provision and maintenance of a safe facility for our  future Lifesavers to learn their initial skills, is a sound investment.


JAC Mermaid Beach SLSC

Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving Club Breaks the Ice

Despite one of the coldest mornings this year, Northcliffe SLSC hits the water for their regular board/swim sessions.

Its important to “mix it up” with training in both surf and flat water so LHM is ideal. It also provided a sheltered area with the wind blowing early on the coast.

Some of the athletes were still hesitant to put their head under for the first time!

Triathlon Australia Highlight the Importance of Lake Hugh Muntz

To Councillor Paul Taylor:

I am writing this letter of support for submission to the local council to please have the issue of the Lake Hugh Munz water quality and its continual care to be reassessed.

I have worked as the Head Coach of Triathlon Australia’s High Performance Centre here on the Gold Coast based at the Australian Institute of Sport at Pizzey Park Mermaid Waters since 2014.

In my time coaching this elite sporting program we have used Lake Hugh Munz at least once a week as a key training venue for open water swimming. The importance to our program using this facility is due to the safety aspect as well the consistency of the water quality in all weather conditions. Allowing us to swim there every week of the year if needed.

Last year at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics we had 5 athletes that represented Australia that utilised the Lake as a training venue in the lead up to the world’s premier sporting event.

With the Commonwealth Games upon us I am currently giving feedback to countries about the benefits of staying in this area especially with the fact we have a safe open water area to train in the lead up.

Developing nations unlike ourselves need to have water areas that are not in the ocean due to their lack of experience. Please be mindful the Commonwealth Games is the “Friendly Games”!

Using the Lake will allow them every opportunity to learn the skills of open water swimming without the fear of being in the ocean.

Almost every nation that will compete in the triathlon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will want to use Lake Hugh Munz which would mean a lot of monetary investment into the local community with accommodation etc. as this is the only fresh water controlled open water swimming space on the Gold Coast that can replicate the demands of competition.

Nations will want to stay close in this area.

We are not the only program using the lake to develop the skills needed to compete at the highest level. Every week I see junior surf athletes from multiple clubs as well as everyday swimmers also using the lake as a safe and controlled environment to learn the skills they then take to the ocean or purely to enjoy keeping fit and active!

So please I ask that you as a local division of government re consider investing into this heavily used open water swimming space. Not only for my program but for the dozens of Gold Coast based open water swimming and craft programs.

Your local community and I love this area and Lake Hugh Munz is a facility that is unique and a normally safe area that people can use at any point to enjoy what we love to do.


Councils Reply to Water Quality Concerns Raised in LHM Newsletter

Please see below the official response for Council.

Clarification of Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group Newsletter

I write to ensure you have the facts regarding Lake Hugh Muntz. These are:

1.    The City has not proposed any reduction in service levels at Lake Hugh Muntz. In fact, the lake already receives a higher level of maintenance and investment when compared to other City-owned lakes and waterways.

2.    The water body is not a designated lake and was designed as a run-off catchment for the stormwater in that residential area, along with general urban run-off. It captures water from at least 16 stormwater drains.

3.    Swimming will still be permitted but like it has always been, this is at the risk of those choosing to swim there. The water body is not patrolled by life savers so the decision to swim is one for individuals to make.

There has been a suggestion that Council should invest more of ratepayers’ funds to improve the water quality. However, to achieve primary recreation water quality, the lake would require filtration or even chlorination. This is not practical for a range of reasons including the fact that the 17 hectare water body has depths up to 12 metres. The volume is equivalent to approximately 282 Olympic sized swimming pools. Unlike a swimming pool, the waterbody is populated by birds, fish and reptiles.

In closing, Council cannot, and won’t be, guaranteeing that the water is always suitable for primary contact. Should a blue/green algae bloom or similar outbreak occur, we will advise the public of these outbreaks and strongly urge visitors to not enter the water.

Likewise, we will advise once the algae bloom or other outbreak has been managed. For more information please contact Mr Colin Bridges (07) 5667 3834.

Regards Paul.

Paul Taylor  MAICD

Councillor for Division 10

Chair Gold Coast Water and Waste Committee

Tel: (07) 5581 6171 Fax: (07) 5581 5294 Coast Mail Centre QLD 9729

Drain Erosion Problems Resolved – Bel Air Park

The care group raised concern with Council over erosion of soil surrounding the drain in Bel Air Park. With trees shading the drain area, a lack of sunlight resulted in poor growing conditions leaving large areas of bare soil.

Gold Coast Council responded with major replanting works to stabilise the area. It was “Murphys Law” that during the restoration, it started raining. This resulted in large amounts of soil being washed down the drain and clearly highlights the need for these works.

soil over drain

The final plantings, once established will be a great asset for the park and offer long term improvements to the water quality of Lake Hugh Muntz by reducing soil runoff into the lake. A big thank you to Parks and Recreation for a job well done!



Lake Closure Signs Removed

On Wednesday the 29th of March, Council officers removed the lake closure signs relating to the Algae outbreak. With the Care Group receiving no official notification, this cannot be confirmed.

By the look of the state of the lake after the recent downpour, I would be surprised if the lake is currently fit for swimming!

Water is currently flowing in from the canals due to the high water levels and very  brown in colour.


I would allow at least 3 days for the lake and flood waters to settle before swimming as per councils standard warnings on swimming in any waterways after flooding.

For more information refer to Councils Healthy Waterways Brochure – Link below;



Lake Receives Long Overdue Flushing

With the recent, consistent rainfall, the lake has gone from a very low level to overflowing in just a week!


The last time the lake reached overflow condition was back in June 2016. The exchange of water is beneficial to water quality and with follow up rain, will hopefully assist in getting the lake open for swimming soon. Considering the brown colour of the water at the beaches and creeks, the lake is surprisingly clear.


Lake “Flooded” with Lawn Clippings in Recent Rain

With the ongoing dry spell the recent rainfall has resulted in large amounts of lawn clippings and leaf litter washed into the lake. Park drains have become overloaded and blocked by the amount of lawn clippings. The picture  below shows Morialta Lake (park)


Numerous coves also show the build-up from the clippings that have reached the lake so far with more inflow expected with upcoming rains.


Street leaf litter baskets have also suffered blockage to the filters by clippings resulting in poor efficiency/blockage. This has resulted in the leaf litter from the streets flowing directly into the lake as well.

Blocked Filter

The Care Group have recommended to council that the parks be mowed with catchers but Councils’ reply was that it is cost prohibitive.

It is important the residents do not dump lawn clippings in Parks and continue to mow the nature strip and other lawn areas so we don’t add to the problem. 

Care Group Requests Meeting with Council to Discuss Ongoing Issues

The Care Group has requested a meeting with Council over the recent lake closure and other ongoing issues. We will keep the public updated on responses to our concerns raised in the email to council  below;

Dear Cr Taylor (Paul),

Lake Hugh Muntz – Closure

Thank you sincerely for your letter dated 6th March 2017 in response to the community concern I mentioned in our phone conversation on 23rd February 2017 about the poor health and closure of Lake Hugh Muntz. You outlined what has been achieved to date and the challenges of healthy waterways in the context of a challenging environment.

Subsequent to your letter and regardless of current algal bloom events in the lake, prudence and risk mitigation are necessary to protect this high-value community asset.

As representatives of the Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group and more broadly the local community, we seek a formal meeting with you and key representatives of the City of Gold Coast Council, including in the areas of public works, public health, asset management, sport and recreation and environmental science, to discuss a range of matters pertaining to the lake including:

  1. Asset environmental data and analysis transparency: What information/data and analysis is available to the CoGC/Council and the broader community to assist all parties in gaining an improved understanding of the environmental causes and consequences of the lake’s environmental condition?
  2. Asset management strategic plan: Does the CoGC/Council have a strategic plan for the environmental management of the lake? Assuming a plan exists, how does the CoGC understand the current environmental problem impacting the lake and how does the CoGC in turn plan to address the current environmental and health related status of the lake as part of this strategy?
  3. Community engagement: How does the CoGC plan to engage the community in consultation regarding any planned actions regarding the lake’s environmental restoration?

Our request is for a meeting to be scheduled with the relevant CoGC and Council representatives within the fortnight. In the interests of openness and transparency, our intention is that the minutes of this meeting would be published on a public forum accessible to the broader community.

Time is of the essence. We are formalising our focus and strategy with respect to ensuring Lake Hugh Muntz is a prized public asset. We have determined to work with a wide range of stakeholders and we have sought considered opinion and expertise to help you, CoGC and Council representatives represent and protect the interests of the lake.  Our renewed activities are focussed on:

  • the environmental condition of the lake;
  • the circumstances pertaining to it’s closure;
  • ways of expanding its public use and amenity through consistent, reliable water quality that the public can trust;
  • optimal solutions to restore on a sustainable basis the environmental condition and performance of the lake; and
  • all available future courses of action which the community should be supporting and prosecuting with CoGC and the Council to ensure the environmental sustainability of this important community asset.

The Lake Hugh Muntz Care Group would be grateful for a formal response by COB Tuesday 21st March (Harmony Day) with suggested dates and times for a meeting with two or three Care Group members.

We look forward to your response at the earliest convenience.