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What is the point of the draft Lower Patterson River Concept Plan?

In March 2017, the Boating Industry Association of Victoria published the Launching Way Precinct Master Plan which was the result of several years of consultation and engagement with the community. BIAV showed leadership to do this because the multiple land managers for the public land that comprise the precinct did not otherwise have a mechanism to produce an overarching plan.

In February 2018, DELWP commenced consultation for a Patterson River Concept Plan. This is fair and reasonable for the upper Patterson River area encompassing the National Water Sports Centre, but what was or is the point of re-visiting the lower area?

After reviewing the draft lower concept plan it can clearly be seen that the fundamental direction of the draft concept plan is to diminish the role of boating in favour of β€œpassive” recreation. From where has DELWP got the mandate to make this fundamental policy change?

Does it come from the consultation? No, we attended the consultations leading up to the draft where it was quite clear that the majority view is that boating is the principal activity in the precinct.

Does it come from the survey that was undertaken? No, even though a children’s playground was no. 8 on the list of priorities from the survey, it has achieved agreed proposal status ahead of all others to improve amenity in the precinct.

Does it come from Government Policy? No, Target One Million and many other initiatives are seeking to encourage more Victorians to fish and undertake outdoor recreation of various sorts.

So the question remains, where does this policy come from and how does it reflect the view of the community?

It is our position that the draft lower concept plan is fundamentally flawed by adopting a policy that is not supported by the community but in the public interest we have come up with a submission that retains the primacy of boating for the precinct. The only other alternative would be to abandon the draft lower concept plan and continue to use the 2017 Launching Way Precinct Master Plan.

View VRFish’s submission on the Draft Patterson River Concept Plan

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