Lake Awoonga more accessible to public

LAKE Awoonga will be opened to the public 24 hours a day under new policies implemented by the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB).

Due to the introduction of GAWB's new recreation plan, a new bush camping facility will also open in the Upper Boyne Valley.

GAWB chief executive officer Rod Hayes said the new policy improved fishermen's access to the lake throughout the day and opened the whole lake to other activities, such as water ski-ing.

'Like other waterways in Queensland, water-based activities will be regulated under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act, which places the onus for safety on the owner and master of a vessel,' Mr Hayes said.

He said the act would be enforced by Queensland Water Police, Queensland Boating and Fisheries and Maritime Safety Queensland.

'Obviously when making changes to the management and provision of recreation facilities it is difficulty to satisfy everyone,' he said.

'However, we talked to many groups and individuals to see what their needs are and the final result has delivered a good balance of outcomes.

The plan also identifies a number of potential development actions that would enhance the existing value but be consistent with GAWB's future strategic direction.

The new camping facility is expected to be established by mid-year.

Boyne Valley resident Jurgen Ehret said the news of new facility was 'very welcome'.

However he said he was disappointed that a document that took so long to produce 'is no bigger than a brochure you would hand out to tourists'.

Mr Ehret said he expected the Boyne Valley community would want to take the matter up further with the GAWB.

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