Plan to ban jet-boats to protect stretch of Clutha

Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod
Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod

Jet-boats and other powered craft could be prohibited on the Clutha River between the Lake Wanaka outlet and Albert Town bridge by next summer, according to Queenstown Lakes District Council deputy mayor Calum MacLeod.

The move  would be a reversal of last year’s proposed changes to the navigational safety bylaw, which proposed having no speed limits on that stretch of river.

Following public feedback, Mr MacLeod believed prohibition was "what the vast majority of the community wants".

After hearings last November, at which  every speaker

favoured a ban on powered craft  between the outlet and the Albert Town bridge, the  hearings panel  recommended to council staff such a ban be investigated.

The council agreed to adopt the bylaw, which Mr MacLeod said would allow council staff to engage with central government to "develop infringement regulations to effectively enforce the proposed bylaw".

Mr MacLeod said it was important to protect the stretch of river.

"It is a national - indeed an international - resource that needs protection.

"It is vital that we continue to protect our small havens of tranquillity in what has become a sea of hustle and bustle."

Consultation on the proposed prohibition would probably take place in the middle of the year. It was hoped the process could be completed in time for enforcement next summer.

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