Educate and zone
A comprehensive education and compliance operational program suggested by RMS along with an adoption of boating zones suggested by the community for various types of a boating is a logical way forward,
Since the Draft River Murray (Corowa to Ovens River) Erosion Management Plan was first released the Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBA) and RMS were on the back foot.
The plan was seemingly rushed through aiming to quickly ban wake enhancing boating between Corowa and Bundalong from Easter 2018 for three years with a suggestion of up to five years.
A lack of scientific evidence in regards to boating causing erosion on this stretch of the river and no research around the socio economic effects of the trial ban were major issues that residents flagged.
After listening to many of the opinions and comments from the first public consultation information session at Bundalong in January, RMS would have soon realised that any wake enhancing restrictions should have been enforced from a safety perspective in the first instance. Following this any benefits to river bank erosion would probably have naturally followed thereafter.
Let’s hope a comprehensive education and compliance operational program now suggested by RMS is carried out with consideration to suggested boating zones by the community.
A focus on safe and responsible use of vessels in various zones is a better way forward with less impact to the socio-economic well-being of the area along with likely benefits to the environment as well.