Deniliquin Business Chamber believes dropping Deniliquin's Edward River during Easter will directly impact on tourism numbers.ZOE MCMAUGH February 4, 2014 4:55am
Dropping the Edward River during the Easter period is ‘‘just cruel’’, according to Deniliquin Business Chamber president Paula Rutter.
Chamber believes government initiated low river levels directly impact on tourism numbers, which in turn creates a negative effect on business.
Mrs Rutter is pleading with the NSW Government and its authorities to delay dropping the river, or stopping the practice altogether.
She said it appeared the Edward River’s level was already dropping, and is concerned the gradual drawdown would reach its peak just before the busy Easter period.
‘‘We just can’t handle it,’’ Mrs Rutter said.
‘‘Our town is based on tourism, especially at Easter and Christmas.
‘‘At our business (Mobil North, Deniliquin) we rely on weekend anglers and tourists using the river, and that’s just our business.
‘‘There are so many businesses that rely on our caravan parks being full and our river being used.
‘‘If people think the river is down again, they will simply go elsewhere.
‘‘With the ongoing competition Deniliquin faces with its neighbours of Echuca/Moama, as well as Barham/Koondrook on the Murray, certainly it makes sense to keep the river at a reasonable level throughout the year so Deniliquin can still compete for the tourism market.’’
Mrs Rutter said this was not the first time chamber or other local business or tourism groups had tried to secure river levels, and said it was time for something to be done.
‘‘For years and years they have told us dropping the river because of Stevens Weir and the fish ladder,’’ she said.
‘‘The fish ladder is completed so they can’t use that (low levels so work could be carried out) as an excuse anymore – someone has to take responsibility.
‘‘Local Government and the NSW Government need to stop passing the buck and someone has to say ‘yes we are dropping the river, and this is why’.
‘‘Certainly while there is an argument that the river levels need to be kept at a reasonable level to manage erosion and environmental impacts, again our advice is that this can still be achieved (as well as allowing for maintenance of the river banks and weir) without impacting too much on the water levels.
‘‘Given too that the Deni Blues and Roots Festival is in April which attracts thousands of people to the town, it is incredibly embarrassing to host these visits with a ‘trickling’ river system.’’.
‘‘When you look over the National Bridge and see the sandbars getting bigger, it just breaks your heart,’’ she said.
Official NSW Government river levels information shows the river height has been fairly static since last Tuesday – hovering about 2.5m and 2.6m.
Mrs Rutter said chamber would work with Deniliquin Council and community members to ensure government controlled river levels did not jeopardise the long term viability of the town.
Having questioned effective management of the river in previous years, Deniliquin Council says it has already started the ball rolling.
In coming weeks it will form a committee of river stakeholders, which general manager Des Bilske said would encourage discussion on flows and river levels, general river safety and use of the river.
Mr Bilske said Deniliquin Council had been working on forming the group since September, and would invite a range of stakeholders, including farming, environmental, tourism and business representatives.
Nathalia Secondary College principal John Sciacca will speak at Cool Heads tomorrow night about the night he came across the crash that killed Year 10 student Jess Hearn.
In a surprise announcement this morning the Burramine Sports Club has said there will be no Burramine Gift in 2015.
The Tatura and district Catholic community will celebrate the 51st staging of the Feast of St Donato on Saturday, August 2.
More than $30,000 was raised for the James McQuillan Future Fund through a nearest the pin competition at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Shavanna Coghill, Harvey Keating, Nate MacFarlane and Holly Scoble were among children who enjoyed the first community playgroup in Rochester on Monday.
Lancaster Football Netball Club makes all families welcome.
St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash declared Queensland bush poet female champion.
Jerilderie thumped Yarroweyah by 185 points on Saturday with star forward Aaron Purcell leading the charge.
Heathcote landfill is open until Sunday for the free disposal of e-waste.
Barooga Lions Club's stalwart of deb balls calls it a day after 17 years of service.
The Deniliquin Wetlands Restoration Community Project has restored the balance to the Deniliquin lagoon system.
Tackling salinity in the Goulburn-Broken basin was a key element of a presentation made to an international forum in the United States last month.
The garden is the work of more than 100 people and has taken more than a decade to complete. Aboriginal community devleopment worker Chris Thorne shared stories of Benalla's Indigenous heritage.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.