Use of reserve boat ramp subject of hearing

A hearing on an application from a Wanaka jet-boat operator to use the Albert Town boat ramp as a loading point will be held this afternoon. Photo: Sean Nugent
A hearing on an application from a Wanaka jet-boat operator to use the Albert Town boat ramp as a loading point will be held this afternoon. Photo: Sean Nugent
A hearing on whether to grant a new licence to commercial jet-boat operator Go Jets Wanaka to use the Albert Town boat ramp as a loading point will be held in Wanaka today.

A hearing panel of Wanaka Community Board members Jude Battson, Ruth Harrison and Cr Ross McRobie will consider the application this afternoon, and make a recommendation to the Queenstown Lakes District Council on whether to approve it.

The operator has been using the ramp, which sits on council land in the Albert Town Recreation Reserve, as a loading point for some time without council permission.

It already has existing consents to operate on the Clutha River.

The licence application has drawn multiple submissions in opposition, including one from the Albert Town Community Association. The association says ''the noise, environmental degradation and danger associated with the rapidly increasing jet-boat traffic in Albert Town is a serious concern for our activity''.

Other submitters had similar concerns.

In a report prepared for the hearing panel by council property adviser Joanne Conroy, it was noted many of the submissions raised issues with the jet-boats being on the river rather than on the reserve.

She said the panel should only take consideration of issues such as noise if it was generated from the reserve, not the river.

She stressed that whether or not the application was granted, Go Jets would still be able to use the river for commercial activity.

sean.nugent@odt.co.nz

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