No power boats on the dam: council

Water skiing and speed boats should not be allowed on Wellington Dam and the State Government should focus on opening Lake Kepwari for recreation, the Collie Shire Council ruled last week.

In February the Liberal Party promised to de-proclaim the 185GL dam as a drinking water source and make it available for more recreational uses including water skiing.

Shire president Wayne Sanford said the council supported more passive uses of the weir such as sailing, paddleboats, electric-powered boats and swimming.

He said Lake Kepwari should be made available to power boats, as it was originally intended.

Due to open in 2008, the manmade lake has remained closed to the public because of safety and liability issues.

The lake, which covers 103ha and holds 30GL of water, was set to become the heart of water-based recreation in the South West and a major tourist drawcard.

Cr Sanford said the rehabilitated mine site could bring numerous economic benefits to the region if it was opened to the public.

Cr Ian Miffling said he held personal concerns about public safety and pollution if Wellington Dam was opened to fuel-powered boats.

“There are concerns with speed boats that when the water levels are very low people won’t notice the tree stumps and tree bodies in the water,” he said.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the Liberals’ “illconceived” pre-election promise showed a lack of consultation with the community.

He said pollution from fuelpowered boats could harm the dam’s marron population.

He hoped to push authorities to open Lake Kepwari to water skiing this year.


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