Left in their wake

COMMUNITY outrage has led to the scrapping of 28 proposed no-wash zones along the River Murray and the formation of a new interest group that will consider how to address the issue.

Fresh start: Georgina Sutton says open lines of communication with people such as the Environment Protection Authority's Peter Scott have helped discussions about boat wash move into a more constructive phase.

Fresh start: Georgina Sutton says open lines of communication with people such as the Environment Protection Authority's Peter Scott have helped discussions about boat wash move into a more constructive phase.

River Murray Eco Action Campaign co-convenor Glen Jones said community members had sympathised with the group's action plan of protecting the river, but rejected its chosen method.

"The working group has reached agreement that the no-wash zone proposals have not been well received throughout the whole of the community and by river users, and therefore we will be no longer pursuing these proposals," he said.

"The working group never set out to cause angst amongst riverine communities and recreational river users.

"The campaign is about working together."

He is now inviting interested parties to join the group - which will adopt a new name - to help shape its future after Sunnyside resident Georgina Sutton became the first to attend a meeting on Wednesday.

"The community expressed concern that it had not been consulted during the process and the working group wishes to open communication lines to alleviate these concerns," Mr Jones said.

"We are looking for interested, active committee members to become part of the solution."

Ms Sutton said she was happy with the outcome.

"All the members of the River Murray Eco Action Campaign are now on the same page and I've been welcomed onto the committee," she said.

"There is a lot of love going around."

Ms Sutton said there was plenty of work yet to be done as the campaign’s structure and goals changed.

The Environment Protection Authority’s Peter Scott, who offered advice during the recent discussions, said he would be happy to help facilitate any action to protect the river.

“We’ve gone through a great Easter, everyone’s enthused - we’ve got to tap into that,” he said.

In the meantime, White Sands Caravan Park owner Russel Hines was among the locals who welcomed the scrapping of no-wash zones.

“I am glad the majority ruled this way - I think it was a no-brainer,” he said.

“The money ski boats, wakeboarders and fishing boats put into the area is huge, and to jeopardise it for a select few was ridiculous.”

About 70 residents who had fought the proposed zones since January celebrated at Sunnyside on Sunday.

- Details: For more information or to express your interest in joining the new interest group, send your river credentials to info@rivermurrayecoaction.com.au.

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