Safety measure tightened on Black Weir skiing

Date published: 26 November 2015

Restrictions on recreational boat use on Black Weir on Ross River have been tightened further to protect the public from an increased threat from submerged hazards.

Acting on the advice of Marine Safety Queensland, the council has implemented Stage 2 of the Black Weir restrictions policy for water skiing activity introduced in response to falling water levels and the increased safety risk.

Stage 2 restrictions will limit Zone B to a 6 knot zone with no water ski usage.

Skiing on the river’s other publicly bookable skiing area, Zone A, will continue to allow a maximum of four boats at any one time.

Council’s director of Community and Environment Gavin Lyons said public safety was the number one priority.

"The risk from submerged hazards is too great in one of the skiing zones (Zone B) and moving to the next level of restrictions is necessary to safeguard public safety," Cr Lyons said.

"Council and MSQ have been consulting closely and after receiving reports of two separate incidents of boats hitting a previously undetected hazard we’ve taken the decision to temporarily close Zone B to skiing until the river levels reach safe levels again."

"The river is a constantly changing environment. Water levels will continually vary, changing the number and location of hazards to navigate. Mariners are advised to navigate with extreme caution at all times."

Mr Lyons said Stage 2 of the restrictions had been brought in earlier than the water level trigger point of 1.75m below the weir, because of the public safety imperative.

Signage will be arranged at the boat ramp and the permit booking system would be revised to reflect the temporary limits.

There are no restrictions on the rowing club or the use of unpowered craft.