It’s taken 40 years, but at long last we’re getting a chance to tell the State Government what controls are needed to stop people dumping vessels in our Noosa River.
That’s how long Council and our community have been calling for action. That’s how long State Governments have ignored us.
Many residents will recall the local newspaper campaigns over the years highlighting the ongoing problems and the lack of action by the State Government.
It started with concern over the number of houseboats being added to the river. On the Sunshine Coast this was a very Noosa problem. No houseboats were allowed in the Maroochy River.
- Noosa was recognised as a cheap place to anchor a vessel permanently rather than paying for a marina.
- Or you could bypass Noosa’s real estate market, buy a cheap vessel and live on it in the river – on the cheap.
- Or, worse still, you could dump a worthless vessel instead of paying for it to be scrapped in an environmentally friendly way.
And yes, there are hulks on the river that have not been used for 20 years because they are falling apart, unseaworthy and unusable. The river has been treated as a dump.
Marine Safety Queensland (MSQ) was asleep at the wheel for much of the time, but the fact is that relevant Ministers and Governments did not care.
The latest joint initiative of Noosa Council and MSQ to set up a River Advisory Committee 18 months ago was welcome, but the general community feeling was ‘here we go again, another wasted effort’. (Disclosure: I was a member of the Committee until June)
The first recommendations of the River Committee were about use of the river. The Committee absolutely nailed the single most important control that is essential if we are to get sustainable and equitable river use.
The critical control is a time limit on anchoring of vessels. Without it, the major problems can never be solved.
The recommendation of a 28 day anchoring limit will:
- Stop the dumping of hulks that pollute the river.
- Stop use of the river as a cheap parking location by vessels not being used.
- Stop the increasing use of the river as a place to live.
- Give everyone an opportunity to experience the river – but not 24/7/52.
- Help to maintain the sustainability of the river.
Our river is not just critical to the quality of life of our community, it is also an essential natural asset. Just imagine Noosa without it.
There’s just one hurdle remaining. There is no guarantee that the State Government will agree to a limit on anchoring. That’s where the community consultation comes in.
The critical part of the survey is this bit. We strongly encourage people to be VERY SUPPORTIVE of the 28-day limit.
It will take just a few minutes to have your say about our river.
Or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to help deliver a great outcome for the Noosa River, at least support the 28 day anchoring limit, even if you have no opinion about the other issues. It’s our last chance to get some action from the State Government.
We cannot waste the good work on this issue from Council, Sandy Bolton MP, and Marine Safety Queensland. They need all of us to have our say if we are to convince the State Government that the people of Noosa support sensible controls to ensure the sustainability of our vital river.