Ignoring the storms and rain from Monday night, it’s been pretty hot in the ‘Berra the last few weeks. I think that’s what they call ‘summer’. I wrote last week about swimming options in Canberra, focusing on Kambah Pool. The water talk got me thinking about Canberra’s lakes, what they’re used for and what they could possibly be used for.
You can swim, canoe, sail, and paddleboat on Lake Burley Griffin. You can also take a cruise on a double decker boat. However, you can’t take part in watersports like skiing, wake boarding, and jet skiing. I was interested to know why, LBG would be a pretty cool spot for spectator watersport, like a boat show or watersport expo.
The National Capital Authority says that waterskiing, jet skiing, wake boarding and hovercraft (I didn’t really know hovercraft were even a ‘thing’) are not permitted on LBG because: ‘These activities have been identified as likely to have a significant impact on the social and aesthetic heritage values of Lake Burley Griffin. The conservation policies in the Heritage Management Plan aim to conserve the social and aesthetic qualities of the Lake. The Heritage Management Plan promotes the ‘non-motorised’ recreational use of the Lake, and ‘minimizing the noise and disruption to the water surface’.
This is fair enough for everyday use of the lake by regular citizens, but – and I’m no ecologist so I’d love to hear from one if you’re reading! – surely annual events like watersport expos, or even something like the Red Bull Air Race wouldn’t have a big impact on the lake? A big event like that would bring a lot of people down to the lake and a lot of visitors to Canberra. We tolerate Summernats pumping fuel into our atmosphere for a week once a year, as well as all the burnout noise, how about we give the motorboats a go too?