Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is urging anyone planning to visit water storages during the long weekend to be properly informed when it comes to safety and bylaws.
In the lead-up to Australia Day, recreational users are encouraged to visit the GMW website for a comprehensive guide on what is allowed and prohibited as well as what storages remain open to the public in bushfire affected areas.
General Manager Water Storage Services Martina Cusack said most visitors appreciate the environmental value of water storage areas but some groups continue to dump rubbish and undertake anti-social behavior which can adversely impact the experience for other visitors.
“Many of GMW’s water storages are appreciated for diverse flora and fauna. The storage facilities attract families and large groups during summer months who enjoy fishing, boating and passive recreational activities,” Ms Cusack said.
“We urge everybody to be safe on the water but also considerate of other visitors. This means respecting GMW bylaws, conserving the local environment, protecting water quality and removing all rubbish.”
All vehicles must be registered and drivers licensed to operate vehicles on GMW land. This means all vehicles are prohibited from operating on the lake perimeter or lakebed unless in a designated area.
“Please also remember basic safety when it comes to visiting our water storages,” she said.
“Boat operators should always wear personal flotation devices, maintain a lookout for hazards and other users at all times and manage their boating activities to suit local conditions.”
GMW reminds visitors:
- Campfires are prohibited in GMW recreation areas, foreshore and lakebed areas. Electric barbecues are available at some recreation areas.
- No rubbish services are available in GMW-managed recreation areas and foreshore areas, please take rubbish home and dispose of appropriately. Remember GMW has a ‘carry-in carry-out’ policy when it comes to rubbish.
- Penalties apply for illegal dumping of rubbish.
- Please keep the waterway healthy by not using soap, toothpaste or detergent in the lake.
- Unsafe and unlawful behaviour can be reported to GMW 1800 064 184. All information will be treated in confidence.
- In an emergency, ring 000 for help.
- A copy of GMW’s recreational bylaw can be found at www.gmwater.com.au/recreation-tourism
For safety boaters should always:
- Observe water levels and the potential for submerged hazards – if in doubt, slow to five knots or less.
- Seek out local knowledge on conditions and hazards;
- Maintain a good lookout;
- Ensure the motor kill switch is attached to the driver;
- Take note of signage at boat ramps;
- Ensure the vessel is equipped with the required safety equipment and that it is in good working condition and easily accessible;
- Remember alcohol and water don’t mix. Don’t drink on the water, and;
- Do not overload the vessel.
GMW also wishes to remind recreation users to visit our website at www.gmwater.coma.u to see the most recent Blue-Green Algae Alerts.
For more information on boating safety, go to https://transportsafety.vic.gov.au/maritime-safety
For more information about recreation at GMW storages, or to obtain a storage boating guide, go to www.gmwater.com.au/recreation-tourism