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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Tweed River ‘must be protected for future’

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Greens' Dawn Walker and Adam Guise (Lismore) at the Tweed River under stress from motorised water sports such as wakeboarding.
Greens candidates Dawn Walker (Upper House) and Adam Guise (Lismore) say that the Tweed River is under stress from motorised water sports such as wakeboarding.

North Coast Greens candidates have called on Nationals MPs Thomas George (Lismore) and Geoff Provest (Tweed) to stand up for the local recreational users of the Tweed River, by protecting the river’s ecology to ensure it can be used long into the future.

‘Murwillumbah locals are concerned about the growing incompatibility of recreational activities on the Tweed River,’ Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore, Adam Guise, said.

‘Traditional recreational users like rowers are facing increased problems caused by wake from interstate jet ski and wakeboard operators, who not only disrupt existing river users, but exacerbate erosion of the river banks,’ Mr Guise said.

‘The Tweed River at Murwillumbah is known throughout Australia as one of the best natural rowing courses on the East Coast due to its still water, long course and natural beauty.

‘The increased use of jet skis and wakeboarding on the river puts this world-renowned reputation in jeopardy.

‘The National Party must stand up and represent this community and protect the river so that it doesn’t turn such an important regional asset into a glorified highway,’ concluded Mr Guise.

Greens Upper House candidate and Tweed Coast local, Dawn Walker, has called for a coordinated approach to preserve the environmental, social, tourism and cultural value of the Tweed River.

‘Opportunities to make submissions to the Regional Boating Plan regarding river usage recently closed. Unfortunately, the draft Tweed-Clarence Boating Plan does not mention the high environmental values of the Tweed River or the need to restrict certain activities like wakeboarding and jet skis along sensitive stretches of the River,’ Greens Upper House candidate Dawn Walker said.

‘The Tweed River is an internationally-recognised migratory bird roosting site. Increased activity from jet skis and wakeboarding disrupts these protected species and threatens their habitat,’ Ms Walker said.

‘The draft Regional Boating Plan has ignored the need to restrict high impact activities along these sensitive stretches.

‘Serious erosion along the banks of the Tweed River has not been adequately addressed in the plan.

‘This is of particular concern given the focus of the report on increased recreational pressure on the river from wakeboard and jet ski users from southern Queensland.

‘It’s time for the National Party to show they are serious about standing up for the residents of our region and demonstrate their commitment to protecting local recreational users and the unique ecology of the Tweed River,’ she concluded.

Greens Dawn Walker, Scott Ludlam, Tamara Smith, Adam Guise and Jan Barham at last Sunday's event in Mullumbimby. Photo Eve Jeffery.
Greens Dawn Walker, Scott Ludlam, Tamara Smith, Adam Guise and Jan Barham at last Sunday’s event in Mullumbimby. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Ludlam visit

Meanwhile, on Sunday at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre, around 50 Northern Rivers Greens members were treated to some inside information on ‘How the West Was Won’, when WA Senator Scott Ludlam visited the town to pass on some tips and war stories from his historic 2014 campaign.

Senator Ludlam was joined via phone link-up with campaign manager Jess McColl, and local Greens luminaries Ian Cohen, Jan Barham and Dawn Walker, as well as Greens candidates in the forthcoming state election Tamara Smith and Adam Guise.

‘The NSW North Coast is long overdue for a Greens representative at the state level’, said Senator Ludlam.

Scott-Ludlam-EJTF-9W6A3596‘I’m encouraged by the quality of your local Greens candidates Tamara Smith (Ballina), Adam Guise (Lismore) and Dawn Walker (Upper House candidate) and hope they can apply some of the techniques we successfully used in the recent WA by-election campaign for a home victory up here on the North Coast,’ he said.

The Greens, who currently finish second to the National Party, are hoping to win the lower house seats of Ballina and Lismore at the 2015 NSW state election.


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  1. Typical green rhetoric and once again a wanna be pollie like Dawn trying to whip up a storm of hysteria that is in the same vein as councillor Milne when she declared “wakeboarding has being banned on the Gold Coast” and my favourite “more boats on the river will mean less fish” For the record, gold coast waterways has not banned wakeboarding and like all rivers in qld they have specified areas where towing is permissible. according to dawn…”The draft Regional Boating Plan has ignored the need to restrict high impact activities along these sensitive stretches” She either can’t read or has decided not to tell what she did read…the report states for the tweed river “Develop holistic strategy that accounts for all environmental, agricultural and wake impacts to address issue and consider interests of stakeholder groups” and then goes on to say “Identify and provide strategic access locations to spread waterway usage” which addresses her concern of “the need to restrict certain activities like wakeboarding and jet skis along sensitive stretches of the River,” This is not a greens bashing blog but a statement of facts because Clr Milne has hijacked a topic that she not only knows little about but is in conflict with what councils own river committee feels, a committee which she sits on. Given they didn’t support her position she has now gone off to do her own thing without their support and conned 3 other councillors along the way with her mistruths.

  2. Tweed Boatie you are the one with the skewed opinions, no doubt because you think you have some right to use the river as your play thing regardless of the collateral damage Anyone with half an eye can see the large amount of rock fill along the banks of the river especially between Murwillumbah and Condong. I have watched it and rowed on it for 75 years and yes, blind sir, there has been a dramatic increase in erosion in recent years, The rock fill is appalling ecologically, replacing reeds and grasses which are a nursery to many types of aquatic insects crustacea and small fish . Great feed for ducks, water fowl and other coastal birds. The rock walls are great nurseries for brown snakes. May one bite you on the bum
    Tweed River Lover

  3. Diana, spot on, it’s my damn right and everyone else’s to use the river as our play thing and the river revetments of rock are the most efficient way to protect what two major floods have cut away in the last 5 years, hence the major changes you talk about. Guess what happens when the ducks and water birds need to find new sources of food…they go and look for it. There are thousands of eatable acres for them. Where did the pelicans go? Look at inland aust where the floods have being for the last couple of years. Your bleeding heart arguments like Katie Milner have no substance, pure emotion with no facts.
    For the record my river use consists of a stand up paddle board or a kayak to go fishing in. The point being made is that the greens are commenting on matters that they know very little about but that won’t stop them from trying to whip up hysteria.

  4. Tweed boatie? Your nonsense suggests to me that you have a hidden agenda…perhaps you just want an excuse to bash Katie Milne.

  5. Dear lyn vermeesch, I do not think tweed boatie has a hidden agenda, if people are prepared to make statements to the media, then they should be able to challenged on those statements , challenging some one to prove their statement dose not equate to bashing them. Tweed boatie is correct in his/ her assement of the current situation.
    In relation to the recent motion passed at council to “ban wakeboarding” there is not one study on the tweed river that advises to ban wakeboarding, there is a study the “SMEC boat wake effect on bank erosion” that did advise of vessel management of slow tow vessels but not wake boarding specifically, this study was discussed and workshopped by the tweed river committee, and the conclusion to this study, was a report presented to council and adopted at the council meeting of October 2013, this report did not recommend a ban on wakeboarding. There are people working very hard in the background to try and go forward in relation to this issue, by going down the path of education, if some people think that the only way to solve this problem is by prohibition with out sound reasoning , then it is only reasonable to assume that you will be met with very strong opposition.
    Thank you

  6. Tweed Boatie. Your comments seem arrogant; as if you think that anyone who disagrees with you is emotional and ill informed. I have a science degree which included studying biology, zoology and ecology. Also have have a certificate in Conservation and Land Management. I lived through the spectacular floods of the 40s and 50s. The effect on the river from those floods was not erosion but siltation . There were large mud islands on the East Murwillumbah and Tygalgah reaches. Dredging of the river was a constant activity. Once the cane barges were decommissioned there was practically no river traffic except for kids in dinghies and canoes, like me.
    Don’t bang on about Katie Milne. She is extremely hardworking and does a tremendous amount of research. River Lover


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