Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW’s) Managing Director Pat Lennon has revealed the controversial changes to the new jetty licences as part of a new foreshore occupational licence may change as a result of the community backlash over the last several weeks.
“We are keen to continue discussions with community members to understand the best pathway forward for foreshore licences,” Mr Lennon said.
“This may include an alternative fee structure or a phased approach to fees for some customers.
“More information on potential options will be available after consultation concludes.”
The authority has now organised a series of three public drop-in days to be hosted at GMW’s water storage offices in early June for community members who wish to provide feedback regarding proposed changes to foreshore licencing arrangements.
The consultation period for input on foreshore licence changes was recently extended following a large amount of customer and community feedback on the issue. The consultation period is now open until Friday, June 15.
“Thanks again to the many licence holders, stakeholders and community members who have already spoken with us about their foreshore licencing concerns,” Mr Lennon said.
“We’ll also be reaching out to customers by phone to ensure they have a chance to provide feedback if they can’t attend a drop-in day.
“It is a complex activity to manage hundreds of kilometres of foreshore and the many structures built on or over the water. As administrators it is our interest in ensuring fairness for all property owners and the community in how this is managed.”
Mr Lennon said an improved licencing system is needed because structures built on public foreshore land are subject to administration to allow GMW to manage environmental, public liability and operational concerns.
Previously residents received a single licence fee for just their jetty and /or a boat ramp (slipway) with modest CPI increases from year to year.
On top of the $300 annual fee this year, GMW is proposing to add additional charges for a large range of constructions. GMW also proposes extra charges if a jetty is larger than the standard size of 6 metres long and 2 meters wide.
What is more interesting charges of $100 are also proposed to apply for landscaping elements including paths and steps, garden beds, paved entertainment areas, shade sails, underground sprinklers, power, building structures and vehicle access.
A further category dubbed ‘‘other’’ will likely attract an extra fee to be determined by GMW.
It is also proposed that those residents with boat lifts, fencing, fire pits and non-approved structures will be told to remove them.
The sweeping changes to the licencing and subsequent charges came after a review and inspections made by GMW in 2017.
GMW invites those with existing foreshore infrastructure, those who may be considering new foreshore infrastructure and interested parties to the information drop-in days which will take place:
• 1pm to 4pm on Wednesday 6 June, GMW Lake Eildon Office, 19 High St, Eildon
• 10am to 2pm on Thursday 7 June, GMW Goulburn Weir Office, 240 Goulburn Weir Rd, Nagambie
• 10am to 2pm on Friday 8 June, GMW Yarrawonga Office, Burley Rd, Yarrawonga.
Customers can provide feedback online at www.gmwater.com.au/existing-foreshore-licences
Alternatively please ring GMW’s Call Centre on 1800 013 357.