CONCERN is growing over a review of Swan River aquatic activities that could see jet skis cruising up the banks of Guildford and beyond.
The Department of Transport’s Swan River Upper Reaches Aquatic Use Review (AUR) would see personal water craft (PWC) allowed upstream of Windan Bridge for a two-year trial period.
Department Manager of navigational safety and moorings Mark Briant said use of PWCs had changed significantly over the years.
“Personal water craft (PWC), also known as jet skis, have evolved in terms of design and usage in recent years with many families now using them as a multi-purpose vessel,” he said.
“DoT has recorded a 32 per cent increase in PWC registrations over the last 10 years compared with an overall increase of 3 per cent in registered recreational vessels over the same period.
“DoT has received increased requests from both PWC owners and the boating industry to allow PWC to operate like any other vessel in the upper reaches.”
Under the proposed trial, PWCs would be restricted to a speed limit of 5 knots, and no “freestyle driving” would be permitted.
However Midland Guildford Ward Councillor Claire Scanlan said she was skeptical riders would abide by the rules and urged the trial to be removed citing potential environmental damage.
“Current use would indicate that PWC riders don’t stick to that speed limit, however if the speed limit is enforced, that would be great.
“It needs to be enforced.”
“However I still don’t think PWCs should be allowed in this section of the river, I think even a jet ski going at 5 knots would cause erosion damage to the banks of the river.
“Residents are concerned about noise in the narrow sections of the river but I think the bank erosion and the potential destruction of vegetation is equally concerning.
“The Swan River needs to be protected.”
City of Swan chief executive Mike Foley said the City had not been involved to date but would review the proposal and make a submission to the DoT.
The two proposals as set out in the Swan River Upper Reaches Aquatic Use Review (AUR) are currently out for public comment.
Comments on the proposed changes are due by November 13 and you can view and comment on the proposals at https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/imarine/aquatic-use-review.asp