Additional consultation on foreshore licensing fees by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) has recently ended, with feedback received from about 130 people.
The original proposal directly issued to existing licensed customers for feedback was a user-pays approach aimed at allowing a wider range of foreshore structures managed by GMW.
GMW staff invited feedback from customers on a proposed fee structure for an additional four weeks. In that time, many people also took advantage of drop-in meetings with GMW staff at Lake Eildon, Goulburn Weir and Yarrawonga which cover the majority of the area with structures on GMW freehold or Crown managed land.
“The feedback included that long-term licensed customers wanted recognition of the period over which they have held a licensed structure,” Managing Director Pat Lennon said.
“Customers also would like to see earlier inclusion of unlicensed and unapproved structures in the process.
“The latter was so all users of foreshore land contribute to the cost of administering these structures to ensure public safety and adequate environmental standards.”
Other key feedback themes included concern about the scale of fees being proposed, land management issues and that there was confusion about some fees and questions relating to over-sized jetties.
“We also heard how some customers regularly maintain foreshore land and wanted to know if a new licence structure could recognise this work,” Mr Lennon said.
Customers whose jetty and boat ramp licence has expired will now be extended to 30 June 2019 based on current licence conditions, which includes a CPI increase of 2.2 per cent.
GMW will consider all feedback received and work through next steps, which will include consideration of:
- Unlicensed structures – GMW will complete an extensive survey over the remainder of 2018 and into 2019 of all structures to now include those that are currently not licensed
- Allowable structures – criteria for appropriate engineering standards, environmental standards and address user and public safety
- Construction standards – specifically minimum and maximum sizes, and what is appropriate at individual storage environments
- Management controls – which seek to allow the controlled development of public and private infrastructure on storages that we manage. Management controls also help to facilitate recreational use of the waterway where this does not impact on operational requirements of the water storage.
- Consideration of historical use and licensing – taking into account foreshore infrastructure which has been in place for some time
- Licence terms including timeframes for licensing
“We thank our customers for providing us valuable feedback on this complex issue which involves many hundreds of kilometres of foreshore land,” Mr Lennon said.
“We acknowledge our initial customer engagement could have been better and we will be taking all feedback into account in our next steps. As we process the input received we will re-engage with customers on a new fee structure.”