Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Skiers 'Want Heads'; Angry Reaction to Plan for Reducing Speed Limits

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Skiers 'Want Heads'; Angry Reaction to Plan for Reducing Speed Limits

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathy Sundstrom kathy.sundstrom@scnews.com.au

WATER skiing at popular Eudlo Creek and along stretches of the Maroochy River could be banned if recommendations in a new state government document, to be released today, are approved.

Jet skiers and speed boat operators also will be affected by proposals in Maritime Safety's 90-page discussion paper to reduce the speed limit from 40 knots to 20 knots (36kmh) along some well-used sections of the Maroochy River.

Transport minister Rachel Nolan said increased boating activity on the Maroochy River - especially by "paddle craft such as canoes and kayaks, which have more than doubled in the last decade"- had made it necessary to review the regulations.

"Maritime Safety Queensland has reviewed the regulations applying to the Maroochy River system and has made recommendations to reduce certain speed limits and to limit some water skiing areas," she said.

"I am now urging the community to have its say on these proposed recommendations."

Ms Nolan said the areas targeted in the 20 recommendations were "mainly the lower reaches of the Maroochy River near Bli Bli and Maroochydore, and also on Eudlo Creek".

The Maroochy River Water Ski Association has vowed to fight the "absolutely disgraceful" recommendations, which would end a pastime they have enjoyed at Eudlo Creek "for more than 50 years".

President Ian Grant said 300 members were meeting at the Sunshine Coast university last night and "heads are going to roll over this".

"Our lifestyle is now under threat. We pay our registration, which has gone up by 300%, and now the state government is taking areas off us at the same time."

Shadow transport minister and member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson and member for Buderim Steve Dickson will support them.

Ms Simpson said plans to close Eudlo Creek to water skiers would only "make it more dangerous". …

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