Council to review use of jet skis and power boats on Lilliesmere Lagoon

Burdekin Shire Councillors today unanimously voted to have the Chief Executive Officer determine what authority had jurisdiction over activities being carried out within Lilliesmere lagoon due to landowner concerns in respect of speed boats and jet skies using the lagoon.

Cr Lyndy McCathie told today’s council meeting that residents at Lilliesmere Lagoon have voiced their concerns about the noise from people using jet skis and power boats.

“I have had quite a few calls from people who live on Lilliesmere Lagoon and from resident as far back as Ida Court who are complaining about the use of jet skis and power boats on the lagoon between 9am and 4pm,” Cr McCathie said.

“It is getting increasingly noisy and residents along the lagoon say jet skis are making a lot of wash which is eroding the bank on their property.

“These landholder pay rates and do a really good job of looking after lagoon.”

Burdekin Shire Council Environment and Health Manager Tracy Jensen said council had contacted the Department of Environmental Protection, Maritime Safety Queensland and the Queensland Water Police for advice on the situation.

“The people from DEP did not think there was an order under any legislation covering Lilliesmere and we are still waiting to hear from MSQ,” she told the meeting.

“The Water Police advised the lagoon could be gazetted under similar provisions to those used on Ross River. This means the lagoon would be regulated by police and they have offered to look into what is needed to do this.

“Under MSQ licencing, jet ski operators are not allowed to create wash and enforcing that will have to be looked in to as well.”

Chief Executive Officer Ken Holt said council needed to find out what needed to be done to get the lagoon gazetted.

“We would also need to engage residents on the lagoon to see if there is a majority support to have the lagoon gazetted,” he said.

“Then the Water Police can get involved once the gazettal is in place.”

Mayor Cr Bill Lowis said a lot of the boundaries of properties situated on the banks of the lagoon extended under the water and the property owners would be responsible should anything happen on their land.

“Is it a noise problem, a wash problem or an acceptable activity issue? This is what we need to find out,” he said.

“Council needs to contact the landholders adjacent to the land area being used and see if they have any issues with jet skis and power boats.”

Director Environment and Operations Trevor Williams said council would contact residents on both sides of the lagoon to assess the situation.

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