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CANAL SYSTEM INCORPORATING LOCK & WEIR
Disclaimer: The information given on this page reflects the design of the Noosa Waters canal, lock and weir system. The Residents Association does not take responsibility for its accuracy. Intending users of the system should make and rely on their own inquiries.
There is a 4-knot speed ** limit (walking speed) in the Noosa Waters canal system with a "NO WASH" requirement to protect other users of the canal and to ensure that there is no damage to revetment walls, moored boats, jetties etc. There are many signs around the canal advising this restriction. The speed limit comes under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act & Regulations with enforcement under the jurisdiction of the Boating & Fisheries Patrol.
There have been a number of recent reports of boats speeding in the canal, including some doing up to 20 knots and the Water Police have advised that they will take action against anyone who exceeds the speed limit.
If you see anyone exceeding the speed limit please complete the Incident Form and send it to the Water Police.
** It is likely that many residents unknowingly are exceeding the speed limits. There is an Apple iPhone app "Speedometer Pro", cost 99 cents, that is accurate and has been found to be easy to use. Best to set speed at commencement of trip then exit the app because battery drain and data usage is high. This app incorporates satellite fixes and mobile phone tower triangulation. Keep your iPhone in a Glad Snap Lock resealable bag sized to contain some air so it will float should it fall overboard.
Land tenure of canal
The canal system is Crown Land dedicated as reserve and under the control of Noosa Council as trustee.
While Council is responsible for the canal system generally, the responsibilities for some activities lie with the State - local government gets its powers from State legislation and where the legislation does not provide for local government to have its own laws (local law or bylaw) for a specific activity, local government cannot introduce separate laws to try and control or manage that activity.
Examples where local government cannot introduce its own laws include - fishing, speed limits on waterways, environmental pollution.
How is the water maintained in the canal?
The water in the canal is from the river system and is pumped via an underground salinity line from the jetty on the Noosa River just off Chaplin Park (about 75 metres north of the western bank of the Noosa Waters entrance channel).
Pumping generally occurs for approx 10 hours a day (between 9 pm and 7 am) with almost 17 million litres of water pumped through the system. At this rate the water in the canal system is turned over about every 38 days. Pumping is confined to these periods to minimise electricity costs and greenhouse emissions.
If necessary, pumping could occur 24 hours per day, which would result in all the water being turned over in approximately 16 days.
Regular testing is carried out to ensure that the water quality meets requirements for recreational purposes and is in accordance with a program designed as part of the development approval process.
In addition, the Residents Association also runs a voluntary Water Watch Program in conjunction with Council. Council provides Association approved volunteers with pool scoops and bins to remove floating debris from the waterway - particularly in corners where debris can accumulate.
Residents can help maintain water quality by:
Access to lock and levy
The function of the lock and weir is to maintain a constant water level in the canal system (approx 400mm above mean sea level) independent of the high and low tides which occur in the river, and to provide for travel by marine vessels between the river and canal system.
Council manages access to the lock and weir system and access is via an electronic card with a reader located near the lock gates. The largest vessel that the lock can safely accommodate is 12m (35 ft) in length and 3.6m (12 ft) wide. Waterfront property owners pay a special rate to Council to cover the cost of administration, operation and maintenance of the lock and weir.
Commercial access for conduct of river cruises and tours is not permitted under the Land Act as commercial use of public land is prohibited.
Maintenance of lock and weir
The special rate levied on waterfront properties is used to maintain the lock and weir and associated infrastructure for pumping water from the river to the canal.
A total asset management plan was developed to identify the costs and timelines for maintenance events and the plan is reviewed approximately every 5 years in conjunction with the Residents Association.
Funds raised from the special rate are placed in trust to provide for major capital replacements and maintenance events (e.g. replacement of pumps).
Major maintenance of the lock and weir requires the system to be closed. This occurs approximately every 10 years with closure lasting approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Advance notice is provided and the work is timed in winter when the least inconvenience is caused to vessel owners.
Mooring of vessels in entrance channel between the Noosa River and the lock
Any enquiries should be directed to Queensland Transport Maritime Division with Boating & Fisheries Patrol having jurisdiction for enforcement of any restrictions that may apply.
The only circumstance where Council can take action is if a marine vessel is tied to Council property e.g. in the entrance channel or at the water frontage to a park or reserve and the vessel is tied up or anchored to any part of the lock and weir structure, a railing, to the revetment wall, or the adjacent parkland.
As the land and structures are Council property, the anchoring of a vessel in this manner is not a permitted use of public land. Any concerns or enquiries may be directed to Council's Public Order & Safety Section.
Boat ramp in Waterside Court
There is a boat ramp located off the park in Waterside Court but it is strictly for use by Council or its agents to carry out maintenance activities. The ramp is not available for use by the general public, including residents of the Estate.
Fishing, sharks and related activities
Issues related to "fisheries" such as crab pots, netting, spear fishing, fish traps and the like come under the jurisdiction of the Boating & Fisheries Patrol. Local government has no power to control any matter that comes under the jurisdiction of the Fisheries Act.
While crab pots are allowed, they must not cause a hazard to navigation and must be clearly marked with the owner's name and address. For further details contact Boating & Fisheries office.
Sharks are natural inhabitants of Queensland waterways and it has been confirmed that sharks exist in Noosa Waters. A 2.56 metre Bull Shark was caught 10th July 2011 in the lake system near The Anchorage. Common sense should be used in deciding where to swim in all Queensland waters. Any alleged shark sightings in Noosa Waters will be referred to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council as the responsible authority. Please note date, time, location and approximate size.
Revetment walls and drainage system
The revetment wall forms part of the property title and is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain. There is a drainage system incorporated into the wall including a special membrane (filter) on the property side of the wall and seep holes through to the canal. It is important that the membrane is not damaged and that the seep holes are not obstructed.
The main cause of potential damage to the membrane is tree roots and excavation/digging adjacent to the wall. If the membrane is damaged it will result in water and soil discharging through the seep holes into the canal. Evidence of damage to the membrane may include subsidence of the soil adjacent to the revetment wall or small mounds of soil being deposited into the canal adjacent to the revetment wall. If this occurs urgent repairs should be undertaken with advice from a qualified person.
Damage to the membrane is likely to result in adverse environmental impacts on the waterway and potential for serious property damage.
Jetties and boat lifting devices
The construction of jetties is covered by Planning Scheme policy - refer to Council's Land Use Section for details.
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