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Is this another missed opportunity due to lack of consultation with the community

The Beagle Editor,

I note in the latest Eurobodalla Council Newsletter preliminary plans for a proposed dam in the Eurobodalla Shire.

I have previously raised this issue last August with Council but no reply to date. I suggested that there was a “GREAT” tourist opportunity available – one that may never occur again!

As occurs in many rural towns in NSW and other Australian States and overseas, many water supply dams and impoundments that are used for human water supply are used for recreational activities. This includes bird watching, boating, kayaking, and fresh water fishing and other activities.

The selected and most appropriate fish, often Australian Bass, are stocked on a regular basis by NSW Fisheries and funded by the Fisheries Trust Fund using fishers licence fees. Due to the birds and animals that gain access to local water supplies treatment is required before water delivery to households.

Each specific location is managed subject to it size and shape. For fishing activities this can include no petrol powered motors, only electric motors which are recharged via solar power panels. Appropriate speed restrictions can be put in place by RMS (Maritime) who also covers boating activities on freshwater lakes and impoundments in NSW. Canoes and kayaks access are particularly popular on small water storage areas. Goulburn comes to mind! The Pejar Dam supplies potable water to Goulburn and is stocked with rainbow and brown trout (cold climate) and is a popular spot for trout anglers. Powered and unpowered boating is permitted on the reservoir; with access via a gravel launch ramp. The reservoir is suitable for kayaks and canoes. Barbeques, picnic shelters are provided. Fishing methods can also be imposed if necessary, with artificial flies or artificial lures or plastics only.

The infrastructure that attracts other tourists such as picnic tables, BBQ areas, toilets, tours of dam, playground equipment and the like would make the proposed dam a great general tourist spot on the South Coast and possibly a location for special events. At many dams camping/accommodation is provided providing another tourist attraction for the locals and tourists.

Just because we are on the coast why should the Eurobodalla community miss out on this great opportunity! We should not have to spend our bucks outside our Shire to enjoy fresh water impoundment fishing? Again it is a real shame that the community have to get in late on these proposals when they should have been involved in the initial consultation period.

Would the Council please accept my previous offer to approach NSW Fisheries to request a Risk Assessment to be undertaken in the first instance so the local fishing community will feel included in the new dam proposal and a new tourist opportunity can be offered which does not currently exist on the South Coast.

Max Castle Vice President Rec Fishing Alliance Tuross Head


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