High level of interest in opening Ross River Dam to commercial and recreational use

Date published: 25 February 2020

A Townsville City Council survey regarding the opening of Ross River Dam to commercial and recreational use has attracted a high level of interest from the community.

Mayor Jenny Hill said around 1,700 people had visited Council’s Have Your Say Townsville platform to learn about the proposal.

“Townsville City Council is investigating the potential for increased recreational and commercial activity within the Ross River Dam catchment and on the dam itself,” Cr Hill said.

“However, it’s essential that council strikes the right balance. Ross River Dam is Townsville’s primary potable water supply and any future use of the dam for commercial and recreational uses must not be to the detriment of our water supply or the natural environment.

“That’s why council sought the community’s feedback on the proposal.”

Cr Hill said 325 online surveys were completed, with a further 45 comments made on an interactive map of the catchment.

Survey respondents represented a range of key stakeholder groups, current users and potential future users.

“The survey responses provided valuable insights into how the community viewed the dam, with maintaining water quality and protecting the dam’s environmental value identified as high priorities,” Cr Hill said.

Cr Hill said the feedback received would inform the next stage of the process, which will see the development of a recreational management master plan as well as a broader water catchment protection strategy. The public will again be consulted on both.