Melton council voted against trying to seek additional boating access to Melton Weir at Monday night’s council meeting.
Councillor Ashleigh Vandenberg moved that council write to Water Minister Lisa Neville and Melton MP Steve McGhie, seeking them to engage with Southern Rural Water to provide the access.
Cr Vandenberg said the access “would allow for general public access and cultural recreational practices outside the requirement of membership to the Melton runabout and speedboat club”.
Currently recreational boating access to the Melton Weir is provided via a boat ramp located at the Melton Runabout and Speedboat Club. The club had been assigned responsibility by Southern
Rural Water for the control of boating access to the water.
In a Facebook post, Cr Vandenberg also said the weir access would put Melton in line with neighbouring areas, including Wyndham, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Altona, Williamstown and Maribyrnong.
However, she was met with opposition from most of the council and was outvoted 7 – 2.
Councillor Kathy Majdlik brought up the Melton Weir development advisory committee, which is being established to provide guidance to the council on opportunities to develop and provide for broader public access to the weir, suggesting this motion would bypass the committee’s decision making process.
In response, Cr Vandenberg argued that she was “simply just advocating for our community”.
“I just would simply like to highlight that this notice of motion is a letter just to ask for engagement or some form of correspondence from the state member for Melton, Steve McGhie, and Southern Rural Water.
“So it’s just asking for what their thoughts are on this matter.”
Cr Vandenberg had support from Cr Bob Turner.
“I’m supporting this because I think it’s time we shook things up a little bit at the weir. I support the boat club 100 per cent, they’ve been there for a while and they deserve all the support they can get,” Cr Turner said.
The council will consult with the weir committee about the notice of motion once the committee is fully established.