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Collapse Issue 566:<br />3 Apr 2023<br />_____________Issue 566:
3 Apr 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Tesch returns with absolute majority
Capital works of $11.3 million in council draft budget
Labor commits $100,000 to Pelican Park playground
Varroa mite detected at Mooney Mooney
Art trail to be held at Pearl Beach on Saturday
Easter Book Fair held for 46th year
Fire brigade encourages online applications
Students join Clean4Shore monitoring survey
Promises of beach dog signs and enforcement
Community service award for thrift shop owner
Focus group to restore Phegans Bay foreshore
Club seeks interest in Rotary youth exchange program
Tree group plants 800th tree
Rotary club holds its Biggest Morning Tea
Community group welcomes Landcare pledge
Man charged after Ettalong drug search
Charges result from crackdown on anti-social behaviour
Plate decoration will be part of school holiday program
Bush regeneration in the Bays
Stallholders wanted for bacon and egg days
Teen dance party to be held at PCYC
Hand tools and working drills wanted
Community access: What does mean?
The driest March in 19 years
Housing strategy proposes 75 dwellings per hectare
Review requested of Warrah St development refusal
Time to raise the question of a local council election
Time for new government to act on local government
Enforce jetski rules, with slower speeds and better signs
First of new aged care wings to open after Easter
Virus numbers stabilise over the last week
Aged care home looks to Philippines for staff
Dementia care provider is 'Care Finder'
School distributes Covid test five-packs
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Bruce Watson to perform at folk club house concert
Refunds for cancelled concert
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Patonga fete on Easter Saturday
Anne Wilson leaves after 19 years
Students participate in 'Aim lessons'
Colour run to be held on Thursday
Parents' group publishes pictures of committee
Bear hunt alternative at St John's
Stations of the Cross
Easter hat parade at Umina
Stall raises money for Year 12 formal
Matthew named Griffin of the Week
School celebrates Australian multi-culturalism
Process to change sporting house names is outlined
Mingaletta activities open to all school-age children
Phonics and phonemic awareness explained
Winners of Easter raffle announced
Students experience reptile handling
Cross-country run held through school grounds
Feedback wanted on potential parent sessions
Splashathon to be held at Umina
'Spectacular showcase' held under the stars
Three medals at Australian life saving championships
Open cricket team makes it to quarter finals
Bowlers raise money for Cambodian family
Fundraising stall for canoe club
Bowlers raise $600 in the heat
Season launch and sponsorship for Woy Woy Roosters
Rugby union draw announced



Enforce jetski rules, with slower speeds and better signs

There has been recent attention to jet skiers at Ettalong and their behaviour out into the bay.

This includes letters to the newspaper and a petition calling for an exclusion zone, effectively banning jet skis in the Ocean Beach bay area, to "preserve" the waterways for locals.

As a local jet ski rider, who has ridden for over 16 years and is well into my 50s, I too would like a safe environment to enjoy our waterways and my time riding my ski with my family and friends.

The waterways, like the beach itself, are a shared area to be enjoyed by people who like to use the area for boating, surfing, swimming, boarding (of all types) and jet skiing.

I do not want my life put at risk by irresponsible riders and drivers, just like when I am driving my car on the road.

On the road, we have speed cameras, radar, police patrols and red light cameras to make the roads safer.

Is there a call to impose bans on these same roads where people still speed or have loud cars or motorbikes, because a few disobey the road rules?

Rules and regulated behaviours already exist for jet skis and, like all regulations, need adequate policing to be effective.

These rules dictate where to ride a jet ski, the speed limits to be followed and the required distances to be maintained from shore, people and other vessels in the water.

If all boat and jet ski users adhered to these rules, and they were enforced, the waters would be safe to be enjoyed by everyone.

The occasional presence of maritime police to check licences and remind riders of the rules, ie distances from shore and people, shows that the area can be shared and people can behave when there is visible enforcement.

The objective should be to maintain the waterways as a safe, shared space to be enjoyed, regardless of what your water sport entails.

As was highlighted by a recent letter to this newspaper, rules do exist. They simply need to be enforced and obeyed.

A local petition calling for the whole of the bay to become a jet ski exclusion zone misses several points.

Sydney harbour has been an exclusion zone for many years as it is a high traffic area for recreational and commercial boating of all sizes.

It is not a recent change.

The petition calls all jet ski riders "hoons" and says they should "not be allowed to terrorise our cherished playground".

This implies all jet ski riders are hoons and do not live in the area.

We are not hoons and we live here, and it is "our cherished playground" as much as it is anyone else's.

There is no one group that owns the waterways and beaches.

Whatever is your water sport, a safe and shared environment can be had by a measured approach to support the existing laws.

Rather than banning everyone on a jet ski, improve the presence and visibility of the maritime police, particularly at busy peak season times, to enforce the rules.

Support everyone on or in the water, by better marking and enforcing of restricted riding zones, ie no excessive speed and manoeuvres, around the beach designated swimming zones and safe speed areas.

This will go a long way to enabling everybody to better share the waterways around the Peninsula.

As a comparison, many dog users use the beach off leash in the designated areas from Ettalong to Umina.

Most owners ensure their dogs are well behaved, while some dog owners let them roam freely without control.

We have witnessed dogs urinating on swimmers' clothing because the owner was not in control of their dog and other dogs dangerously rush past small children walking to the water's edge.

There are rules, but if they are not enforced then the beach is spoiled for all.

Do we now say all dogs should be banned from the whole beach because some owners do not control their dogs or ignore the signed designated areas?

Do not tar every jet ski rider (or dog owner or anyone) with the same brush.

Not everyone does the wrong thing, so don't try to ban everything.

Enforce the rules, perhaps change the speed limits, erect better signage and markers to encourage good behaviour, but don't ban everyone because some do the wrong thing.

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