Bundalong resident suggests expanding draft erosion management plan's wake ban

SHARING THE RIVER: Bundalong residents Jeanette Bennett and Peter White say wake enhancing affects the enjoyment of other water users. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
SHARING THE RIVER: Bundalong residents Jeanette Bennett and Peter White say wake enhancing affects the enjoyment of other water users. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

A BUNDALONG resident believes a proposed Murray River limit on wake enhancement won’t be as costly to her town’s businesses as has been feared.

Jeanette Bennett wants the restriction area increased to Majors Creek for safety reasons to prevent other sections becoming more congested.

“The ban as it stands stops wake enhancing activity from Corowa to Bundalong, therefore more people will come to Bundalong because they can ski from here,” she said. “We all have significant investment in Bundalong and want it to flourish, but we want all users of the river to be able to enjoy it safely.”

The consultation period for the Murray River (Corowa to Ovens junction) draft erosion management plan, released on Friday, continues until February 28, with community information sessions planned for Bundalong (January 15), Yarrawonga (February 13) and Corowa (February 15). Feedback can also be given online, emailed to MurrayRiverErosion@rms.nsw.gov.au or posted to Murray River Erosion Project, Roads and Maritime Services, Locked Bag 5100, Camperdown NSW 1450.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said all input received would be considered when the committee developed the final plan.

The draft proposes seven actions including introducing a new vessel wash restriction zone between South Corowa and the junction of the Ovens River on a three-year trial basis. This could prohibit wakeboarding, wake surfing, use of ballast or other devices to enhance wash and operating a boat in a way that creates enhanced wash.

Ms Bennett said increased wake enhancement on the river in recent years had affected other activities like fishing, kayaking, rowing, paddle boarding, water skiing and barbecue boats.

“The wake is so large that other water users have to take evasive action,” she said.

“At Majors Creek, the river then opens up considerably, it’s a lot wider and therefore the waves of the wake enhancing will dissipate so there will be less environmental impact and from a safety point of view again, there will be less impact.”