Wide Bay Water’s recent decision to ban some boat owners from Lenthalls Dam has angered the boating public, especially Sunfish Fraser Coast. Sunfish made strong representations based on community needs and consultation calling for changes to the conditions for boat owners using the lake.
The Secretary of Fraser Coast Sunfish, Mr Martin Bellert, has strongly criticised the decision made by Wide Bay Water as it reflects little or no understanding of current boating trends or community expectations. Mr Bellert said that Sunfish Fraser Coast endorsed the decision to continue the current speed restrictions of four knots as this was in the interests of boating safety due to the lake area having many submerged tress and shallow areas, and the increasing popularity of the lake for other non-powered uses.
“I am extremely critical of the decision to limit the capacity of two-stroke motors used on the Lake to 6hp whilst at the same time allowing for a policy change for four-stroke outboards up to 60hp to be used,” he said. “It is obvious the corporation has ignored advice from many quarters that the technology now used in two-stroke outboards results in more measured oil use and less pollution. For over two years now we have been asking the Council and Wide Bay Water to fix the silly anomaly that existed. Instead they deferred to a large consultation process then ignored the problem after paying tens of thousands of dollars for consultants!
“The recreational fishing community is incensed at the proposal to only allow four-stroke motors to be used on the lake from January 2010. It shows the corporation is not familiar with the boating industry in that modern two-strokes are environmentally compliant, and will be popular with boat owners for decades. The fact that four-stroke motors are more costly also discriminates against a large section of the community.”
Sunfish is also aware that Lenthalls is not regarded highly as a sportfishing venue because of the horsepower restrictions and tourism opportunities may be lost because of this. The upgraded facilities cannot reach their full potential with these restrictions in place.
Wide Bay Water Corporation should not lose sight of the fact that the freshwater fishing enthusiasts in the community, in cooperation with the Qld Fisheries Service, have worked hard to create a fishery for everyone to enjoy.
“The proposed power restrictions and motor type is divisive and discriminatory and fails to recognise that freshwater fishing is fast becoming the favoured fishing experience for families,” Mr Bellert said. “The corporation should reconsider these new conditions if it wants the general public to fully utilise the new facilities being provided in the area.” – Sunfish Fraser CoastReads: 720