Vote to decide on water-skiing permits

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Water-skiing on the popular Lake Mullocullup could require a permit, with a City of Albany committee to vote on the merit of a permit system at a meeting tomorrow night.

The lake has been used unrestricted by local water-skiers for more than 30 years, but in October, 2015, the council passed a determination to prohibit the use of motorised watercraft on bodies of water within Albany, pending no objections during public consultations.

The public consultation received 59 submissions, with 46 objecting to the proposal. Further consultation involved public meetings in which a variety of options were raised, including a permit system, assuming the lake became a gazetted body of water.

Manypeaks farmer Richard Metcalfe has been water-skiing on the lake for 35 years and said it provided a social outlet for his family.

“My two boys go out there once or twice a week during the summer and it is a great meeting place in a healthy environment,” he said.

“You take that away and there’s not much else out here.”

Mr Metcalfe said a permit system could be the best solution.

“If permits allow us to keep using the lake then we would support that,” he said. “Ideally things would continue as they had done, however given the increased exposure of the lake, a permit system may be the best way forward.”

The Department of Transport has indicated it would gazette the lake and thus become the responsible agency. The environmental impact of water-skiing on the lake has been difficult to determine, with limited data available.

If water-skiing continues, an annual environmental monitoring program will be established.

The committee’s decision will have a final determination at this month’s ordinary council meeting.

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