Seqwater and the Queensland Police Service have launched a joint campaign encouraging the public to ‘be DAM smart’ on and around South East Queensland dams this summer.

Seqwater is responsible for 26 dams and 50 weirs as well as 46 operational water treatment plants across South East Queensland.

Seqwater Chief Executive Officer, Terri Benson said Seqwater was again expecting bumper crowds over the coming summer and holiday season.

“Based on previous year’s figures, we can expect to see more than 150 000 visitors to our dams and recreation facilities over the Christmas and New Year period,” Ms Benson said.

“This campaign’s slogan of ‘be DAM smart’ is designed to educate people to ‘rethink’ their behaviour both on and around our dams to provide a safe environment for everyone. The majority of our visitors are very well behaved and make the most of our facilities, but in previous years there have been a small number whose behaviour has had the potential to put others at risk – dangerous and anti-social behaviour affects everyone.

“We are urging people to ‘be DAM smart’ – for example, boats and jet skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and paddlers; being courteous  to other people whether it be on boat ramps, campsites and on the road; not littering and importantly, supervising children at all times. These facilities are for the entire community to enjoy.”

The dam safety campaign also has a broader message about the health of our catchments and protection of flora and fauna.

“It is important to remind the community that as well as recreational activities, our dams and surrounding catchments provide our drinking water supply for present needs and future generations,” Ms Benson said.

“Water quality is impacted by the conditions of our catchments, and even something as simple as disposing of rubbish appropriately has the potential to improve the health of our waterways”.

Ipswich District Country Patrol Group Inspector, Charysse Pond said police will be regularly patrolling Seqwater lakes over the summer period, targeting anti-social behaviour across all recreational areas, including drink driving both on land and water.

“This is not about stopping people enjoying themselves and having fun, it is about ensuring people act responsibly and consider the safety and comfort of others,” Inspector Pond said.

As part of the campaign, Seqwater Rangers and Queensland Police will be monitoring:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Boaties and jet skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and paddlers – 30 metres for boats and 60 metres for jet skis
  • People speeding in designated six-knot zones
  • People swimming  in non-designated areas
  • Boating or fishing after dusk

Seqwater would like to remind visitors:

  • Individual permits are required for boating at Somerset and Wivenhoe
  • Fishing permits are required for most dams where fishing is permitted (Further information on individual sites can be found on www.seqwater.com.au)
  • Camping is only permitted in designated camp sites. Rangers will be on the lookout for illegal campers on private property
  • While some public cooking facilities are available, visitors are advised to bring their own gas bottles and cooking equipment. The lighting of open fires is prohibited.

For information about Seqwater dams and recreation areas or to help plan your trip visit: www.seqwater.com.au.

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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