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.
City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan urges people to continue supporting SPC Ardmona after yesterday’s funding announcement, but also warns it could mean less jobs in the future.
Mulwala Thirds full forward Gus McMillan kicked his 100th goal for the season on Saturday.
Murchison and Tatura SES units were two of 26 Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer units to receive an allocation of new equipment this week as part of the annual AAMI equipment handover program.
A number of health professionals and dignitaries gathered this morning to witness Health Minister Peter Dutton launch the $9 million Victorian Stroke Telemedicine Program.
Rochester resident Phyllis Thompson raised concerns about the pedestrian crossing outside the post office VicRoads recently.
Girgarre Primary School students relate what the best book is they have read and why.
The death of Arthur Cole is the passing of a true gentleman.
A commemorative plaque to mark 100 years of Berrigan Red Cross has been unveiled outside the Berrigan RSL Club.
Peter Maine has traken over the president's role for Heathcote Tourism and Development.
Cobram service sees crowd commemorate 48th anniversary of a key Vietnam battle.
The region is holding out for winter rain.
A $100 million investment program will recommence following parent company Coca-Cola Amatil's decision today to invest $78 million into SPC Ardmona.
Vale Pat Gardner, 1916 - 2014 whose last wish was for the Benalla ceramic mural to be listed by the National Trust.
- Benalla unveils its refurbished old shire offices which are now the Civic Centre
- Support Light the Night in Benalla next month
- Poppy Smith celebrates her second birthday, having survived a heart defect.
- Benalla Rural City Council announces intention to re-appoint CEO Tony McIlroy
- Benalla Art Gallery appoints new director
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.