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Powerboat racing a dam good idea for Wivenhoe

POWERBOAT racing on Wivenhoe Dam as part of a heavily promoted Somerset Water Festival is something Ipswich West MP Sean Choat is committed to bringing about as part of his 2013 program.

Mr Choat would like to see rules currently preventing powerboats from operating on Wivenhoe Dam overturned.

He sees great potential for a water festival featuring powerboat racing as a major tourist attraction that would be embraced by the public and boost the economy in the Somerset and Lockyer Valley area.

"Any sort of carnival needs to cater for all parts of the community, but I think people want to see a bit of competition," he said.

"Some of the powerboat racing I've seen on the tele is fantastic and I reckon people would love to see it locally. Spectators would come from all over to watch it.

"If that happened we could have a 'Somerset Water Festival' going over a couple of weekends.

"There are not too many bodies of water that size that would be conducive to this sort of thing in Queensland.

"A dam like Wivenhoe is made for it and you could do it without taking out the whole thing.

"There are plenty of inlets and places where they can do other activities when that is going on.

"The potential for this is amazing."

Mr Choat acknowledged that "SEQ Water has been against it".

"But I think that is short-sighted and a mistake," he said.

"A lot of people have said to me, 'Why can't we have powerboats on Wivenhoe?' They are on Somerset and it is the same water.

"I believe Wivenhoe is something people should be able to use and be proud of. It is big enough for powerboats.

"SEQ Water has got to change its current policy of no power boats on Wivenhoe. There are ways to safeguard water quality.

"The business community see it as a big drawcard. Fernvale would be a big winner but also places like Esk, Lowood and even some of the smaller places like Toogoolawah would get something out of it too.

"I have already spoken to the minister (for energy and water supply) Mark McArdle to say it is something I will be pursuing."

Topics:  powerboats, sean choat, wivenhoe dam



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