Seqwater and the Queensland Police Service have launched a joint campaign encouraging the community to play it safe across South East Queensland dams this Easter.
As part of Seqwater’s ongoing “Don’t be DAM Stupid” safety campaign Seqwater Rangers and Queensland Police will be conducting joint patrols focusing on random breath-testing of boat operators and drivers, as well as monitoring dangerous or anti-social behaviour. The patrols will be at Somerset, Maroon, Moogerah, Atkinson and Borumba Dams.
Seqwater Chief Executive Officer Peter Borrows said the organisation was expecting record numbers over the Easter long weekend, with the region’s major recreational dams almost at full capacity.
More than 3000 campers have already booked into the major campsites around Somerset and Wivenhoe dams with a number of sites already at full capacity.
“With the current combined capacity of our three major dams at nearly 98 per cent, we are expecting record crowds both on and around our dams over the Easter period. The last time our dams were at these historically high levels was more than nine years ago,” Mr Borrows said.
“In addition to campers, we are anticipating large volumes of day visitors to our major dams so would like to remind people to take care and expect additional traffic and possible congestion on the roads over the break.”
“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. Our facilities are for the entire community to enjoy. People forget that dangerous and anti-social behaviour affects everyone.’’
Inspector Cliff Dieckmann, Southern Police Region said police would be targeting anti-social behaviour across all the recreational areas, including drink driving both on land and water over the Easter long weekend.
Police expect that there will be some congestion on the region’s dams and waterways as these are popular destinations for many and are urging everyone to be patient.
“This is not about stopping people enjoying themselves but ensuring people act responsibly and consider the safety and comfort of others,” Inspector Dieckmann said.
As part of the campaign, Seqwater Rangers and Queensland Police will be monitoring:
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Boaties & jet skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and paddlers – 30 metres for boats and 60 metres for jet skies
• 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 look out 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.