12 September 2016
LAKE ACTIVITY MUST BE ENCOURAGED
Government policy and regulation should aim to facilitate activation of the city’s beautiful waterways, particularly Lake Burley Griffin, according to Canberra Business Chamber.
“One of Canberra’s most outstanding features is its design, with Lake Burley Griffin as a focal point for the city. More needs to be done to motivate locals and visitors to enjoy this great space,” argued David Marshall, Chair of the Canberra Business Chamber Tourism Industry Advisory Council.
Dr Marshall’s comments follow reports that one of the ACT’s small number of lake cruise operators has recently decided to close due to untenable fees and that the Acton paddle boat and bike hire businesses have been purchased to make way for Government development.
“We support the City to the Lake project and development of the West Basin,” Dr Marshall said. “However, with the closure of these three providers, there are less attractions to draw people to the lakeside.
“It is important businesses, like cruise operators, do not face charges or other barriers that make it unfeasible for them to contribute to bringing life to the lake.”
A Canberra Times article published on 11 September stated ‘commercial boats will soon be required to moor at the new Kingston harbour’ and charges would be upward of about $2500 per year.
“Apparently this fee has already resulted in one commercial operator choosing to walk away,” Dr Marshall said.
“Activity around and on Lake Burley Griffin is likely to be seasonal. This means operators already have significant challenges in terms of profitability.
“We need to ensure the fees cruise operators are subject to don’t make their businesses unviable. Canberra needs more activity on its lake, not less.
“Lake Burley Griffin is one of the most beautiful parts of our city, but people need to be able to actively experience it.
“Floriade begins this weekend and is Canberra’s number one tourist drawcard. Based in Commonwealth Park, Floriade is essentially on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. It is important the visitor experience does not begin and end at Floriade, but they can easily look around and see other things to do on and around the lake.”
Media Contact: David Marshall, Chair Tourism Industry Advisory Council 0418 631 780