Seqwater is encouraging Australia Day revellers to make safety a priority, with thousands of people expected to celebrate the long weekend at South East Queensland’s lakes.
Seqwater Principle Compliance Officer Amber Blake said the bulk water authority would be working with Queensland Police and other agencies to ramp up patrols during the busy period.
“The message we want to convey to lake visitors is to come and enjoy what these sites have to offer but celebrate responsibly, be aware of your own personal safety and be mindful of other lake users,” Ms Blake said.
“The stillness of lakes can create a tranquil and safe feeling but accidents can still happen if visitors get complacent.”
Ms Blake said safe behaviour included staying under the speed limit on and off the water, boaties and jet-skiers keeping their distance from swimmers and supervising children at all times.
To improve safety for lake visitors, Seqwater has worked with Surf Lifesaving Queensland to redesign its designated swimming areas. New designated swimming enclosures have been installed at a number of Seqwater lakes to provide a clear separation between swimmers and boat users.
Ms Blake said during the recent Christmas and New Year holidays, more than 250 Random Breath Tests were carried out across South East Queensland lakes - and only one person recorded a blood-alcohol reading above the legal limit.
“The majority of people were well behaved with no major incidents reported,” Ms Blake said. “We are hoping that continues for this long weekend and visitors Play it safe.
“During the patrols this weekend, we will once again be working with police on and off the water to conduct drug testing and random breath testing for alcohol."
Ipswich Police Inspector Keith Macdonald said the patrols were not about stopping people from enjoying themselves rather making sure people acted responsibly and were considerate of others.
“If people act irresponsibly, things can go wrong in an instant and a great day out can suddenly turn into a tragedy.
“Seqwater rangers and police can’t be everywhere, which means people have to take responsibility for their own safety when they visit our recreational areas,” Insp Macdonald said.
Ms Blake said even if people had visited Seqwater’s lakes before, conditions may have changed.
“Take a minute before you leave home to check out the latest recreation and safety notices, which include blue green algae levels at each lake, and also look at the Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast.”
For information about Seqwater lakes and recreation visit www.seqwater.com.au or download the Seqwater app.