On-water access

Residents are seeking reassurance on water quality and safety as the state government prepares to open on-water access for Coliban Water’s Kyneton catchment from August 1.
For the first time, kayaks, canoes and small craft with electric motors will be permitted for recreational use at Malmsbury, Lauriston and Upper Coliban reservoirs.
The new access comes as part of a state government election commitment to boost recreational boating and fishing but residents in the vicinity of the waterways fear the move has come without proper preparation.
Locals fear additional activities will increase users along with risk of water contamination, parking chaos and safety concerns.
The on-water access does not permit swimming, however, some expressed concern about enforceability.
“None of us want to be kill-joys, and we know that we can’t stop it from happening, but we need to make sure the right checks and balances are in place,” one local resident told the Express.
“They won’t be able to stop people from parking or landing their watercraft on private property, and we don’t want people swimming in our drinking water.”
A Coliban Water spokesperson said management arrangements would be in place to support on-water access.
“Signage at the reservoirs will be updated, along with maps, brochures and supplementary information showing the available access point for boating at each reservoir. Restricted areas on the reservoirs will be marked on the water with buoys,” they said.
Coliban Water stated no additional facilities were planned for on-water access from August and that existing parking, boat launching and toileting facilities at each storage were intended to support visitors.
A spokesperson said Coliban Water would continue to assess and manage water quality risks from the catchment to the tap.
“This includes utilising the multiple treatment barriers already in place at water treatment plants to protect the quality of the water supplied to customers. These processes ensure water supplied to customers is safe to drink,” they said.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the idea was to “get more Victorians out and and enjoying the great outdoors and spend time with their families” and positive examples had already been seen in areas like Barkers Creek.
“Allowing on-water access to Malmsbury, Lauriston and Upper Coliban reservoirs will provide a tourism and economic boost to the region while also having great health and wellbeing benefits for residents in the Macedon Ranges,” Ms Thomas said.
“There has been fantastic feedback from communities and recreational users at other reservoirs we have opened, such as Barkers Creek.”
Coliban Water assured opening storages to on-water access from August 2019 would not impose additional costs on customers.
“The Essential Services Commission regulates water pricing, and Coliban Water’s capital investment and charges are set out in our Pricing Submission 2018, which is in place until June 30, 2023,” they said.

Malmsbury Reservoir.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × 3 =

error: Content is protected !!