Paddlers not open to speed

Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra president Barry Small, member Charles Dalrymple, Mandurah Paddling Club president Paul Harding and Mandurah Murray Vietnam Veterans kayak coordinator Terry Sullivan.
Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra president Barry Small, member Charles Dalrymple, Mandurah Paddling Club president Paul Harding and Mandurah Murray Vietnam Veterans kayak coordinator Terry Sullivan.

They cited risks to dolphins, negative environmental impacts and boat safety issues as reasons why they opposed unrestricted speeds in the channel.

The new unrestricted speed limit is part of the proposed Peel Aquatic Use Review, which will be discussed at a community forum on August 8.

Canoe Trail Friends of Mandurah and Pinjarra president Barry Small said the proposal was for the 12-knot speed limit to be revoked.

Mr Small said dolphins were sensitive to disturbances and stress posed by high-speed vessels.

‘There would be an increased risk of strikes or hits on the dolphins,’ he said. ‘Repetitive and longer dive times would be required by dolphins to avoid vessels, which in turn increases their stress levels.

Mandurah Murray Vietnam Veterans kayak coordinator Terry Sullivan was concerned higher speeds would damage the ecosystem.

Canoe Trial Friends member Charles Dalrymple said he was concerned with boating safety in the shallow water.

Mandurah Paddling Club president Paul Harding said the proposed unrestricted speed would be detrimental to recreational users of the water, such as swimmers, paddlers and houseboats.

Department of Transport navigational safety and moorings manager Mark Briant said under the proposed changes skippers would be required to travel at a safe speed in the navigation channel.

‘A recent major upgrade of navigation aids better define Sticks Channel for skippers transiting the area and together with the proposed minimal five-knot area either side of the channel, aquatic use in the area will be safer and better coordinated,’ he said.

‘The proposed changes presented for community feedback have already been the subject of preliminary consultation with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Fisheries and Water Police.’