Save Boating on the Murray River committee disappointed by numbers at Yarrawonga information session

CAMPAIGN CONTINUES: Save Boating on the Murray River committee members Jason Burns and Brett Butler urge people to have their say on the Murray River draft erosion management plan.
CAMPAIGN CONTINUES: Save Boating on the Murray River committee members Jason Burns and Brett Butler urge people to have their say on the Murray River draft erosion management plan.

Campaigners fighting proposed limits on wake boat activities in the Murray River say they’re disappointed by the low turnout to a Yarrawonga forum on Tuesday.

The Save Boating on the Murray River committee has urged people to attend Thursday’s session in Corowa and take part in the public consultation for the draft erosion management plan (Corowa to Ovens junction).

Estimated numbers at the Yarrawonga event, the second of three community information sessions run by Roads and Maritime Services and Murray Darling Basin Authority, ranged from 30 to 50 people, far fewer than attended the first evening in Bundalong last month.

The draft plan proposes seven actions including a controversial three-year trial of new vessel wash restriction zones that would limit some forms of boating.

Save Boating on the Murray River committee member Jason Burns said any ban would harm tourism without improving erosion.

“It’s about MDBA and RMS admitting that their draft management plan is flawed, taking it off the table and then looking at other options,” he said.

“People need to get on to the website to voice their opinions and their concerns.”

Federation mayor Pat Bourke agreed this was an important issue and he hoped authorities would consider a zoning plan put together by user groups.

“It’s brought to a head with the communities about how important it is to respect and live with the river,” he said.

“Obviously there needs to be some education around how we use the water … and I think that’s where the report should be focused.”

Thursday’s session will be held in Corowa’s Memorial Hall between 6pm and 8pm.

The draft erosion management plan consultation period ends on February 28.