Win for small powered boat users on Wellington Dam with fresh Shire of Collie decision

Jacinta CantatoreBunbury Herald
Wellington Dam.
Camera IconWellington Dam. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Collie boaties have been given a reprieve after the Collie Shire council agreed to amend its support of a Transport Department ban on powered boats at Wellington Dam, now proposing to allow boats up to 10hp at the dam.

The decision follows an online survey launched by the department that asked water users to comment on a proposed ban on powered boats at the popular fishing and recreation area now Lake Kepwari had opened.

Almost 800 people responded to the survey, 61.6 per cent of respondents wanting the water ski area to stay put, and fewer than 50 per cent agreeing to ban all electric-powered vessels.

In September 2021, the Department of Transport began consultation with State and local government authorities proposing changes to the waterway, including plans to remove the water ski area from Wellington Dam and allow only electric-powered vessels for passive use activities only.

In a report to council, staff noted the shire had long held the view that skiing, jet skis and other high-powered water sports on Wellington Dam should be prohibited as soon as Lake Kepwari was opened.

“Now that a purpose-built ski facility has been commissioned, it is appropriate to support the closure of Wellington Dam to motorised vessels,” the report reads.

Council resolved to forward a submission to the Department of Transport to confirm the Shire’s support to the proposed changes to the use of the Wellington Dam, but with an amendment that would allow for the continued use of small powered boats up to 10hp on the waterway.

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