Central Highlands’ Mayor Kerry Hayes, Chief Executive Officer Scott Mason and General Manager Infrastructure and Utilities Gerhard Joubert swapped suit coat for life jacket and inspected the river by boat from the bottom weir to the top weir.
The group then met with Slack Drive riverfront property owners at the Riverview Terrace access point.
The mayor said that it was time to change the attitude towards the river.
‘We’ve spent seven years dwelling on the river as a floodway and now, since the decision to not proceed with levees, we’ve got a chance to use the spirit of what we’ve done and think about the river’s importance in another way.
‘Let’s build on the feedback and ideas we’ve been collecting during the levee deliberation to create a community project around beautification and recreation to take advantage of this wonderful asset, he told the group.’
The mayor also said the trip highlighted the practical problems of the current state of the river.
‘There’s certainly some issues with weeds, snags, fallen timber and bank erosion that does affect the flow of the water and impedes recreation activities,’ he said. But, despite this, we also saw lots of people enjoying themselves fishing, walking and relaxing near the water.
The mayor advised the group that the river revival wasn’t a current funded project of the council.
‘This isn’t a project now, but I believe that, over time, we can interest the community and some corporate partners to give the river a tidy-up, improve the access and make the Nogoa a real feature for the town.
‘We certainly need to find the money, but it’s a good time and a great reason to get started.’