Submissions close soon on Barwon River usage

February 27, 2024 BY

The rules about usage of the Barwon River as it passes through Geelong have not been reviewed since 1991. Photo: SUPPLIED

SUBMISSIONS to the draft waterway rules for the Barwon River as it passes through Geelong are now open.

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has developed the rules for the stretch of the river, between Orana Road to the Lower Breakwater (just upstream of Lake Connewarre), through an extensive consultation period with the main user groups of the Barwon River and key agency stakeholders.

All recreational users (including anglers, on-water users, visitors, and recreational parkland users) of this stretch of the Barwon are invited to provide comment.

The Corangamite CMA identified a need to review the waterway rules for the Barwon River following Barwon Water’s planned removal of four spans of the Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct in Breakwater as part of its Porronggitj Karrong project.

The removal of the spans opens the opportunity for the public to get access to the lower part of the river for the first time in many years, as this has been an exclusion zone for safety reasons.

As the existing river rules have not been reviewed since 1991, the renewed access to the river around the sewer aqueduct provides the Corangamite CMA the opportunity to review the waterway rules, not only for the lower part of the river, but also for the entire stretch from Orana Road to the Lower Breakwater.

Waterway rules are designed to provide a safe operating environment, to cater for a wide range of boating and water activities, to separate different activities where needed based on safety, and to reflect local conditions.

Any changes to the rules will be based on the following principles:

  • Managing vessel activities and movement, moorings and berthing locations, and navigational aids that identify regulations and hazards, anchorage and dredging areas
  • Minimising the risk of environmental damage from the operation of vessels
  • Allowing for the safety and equity of on-water use on the Barwon River for a broad range of users
  • Cultural Heritage management and consideration, and
  • Ensuring compatibility of waterway use with surrounding land.

“Through this public consultation process, we aim to consider the perspectives of all river users and establish new rules that accommodate a wide range of recreational activities,” Corangamite CMA general manager of community and catchment Services Sarah Holland Clift said.

“The aim of any rule changes is to foster greater inclusivity and safety for all on water users, enabling a broader range of individuals to enjoy the Barwon River.”

To view the draft changes and to provide your feedback, head to surveymonkey.com/r/K3WSJYF