From redlands times.

Decision to open dam known by year's end
By Judith Kerr
Sept. 29, 2015, 12:34 p.m.

KAYAKERS and canoeists will know by the end of the year whether Capalaba's Leslie Harrison Dam will be opened to non-motorised water sports.

Seqwater spokesman Alena Wilson said the water authority was expecting to have a decision on any potential upgrades to the dam by December.

"The current status is that we are assessing the options based on investigations in the dam carried out over the past year," she said.

"Those investigations have concluded but Seqwater is still determining the nature of any upgrades (at the Capalaba dam)."

She said after the upgrade works was decided on, the authority would have the option of "reassessing" recreational non-motorised sports on the dam.

She also said decommissioning of the dam had not been discussed.

In March 2013, the then Water Minister Mark McArdle said the dam would be opened for water sport and fishing that December, reversing 40 years of tradition.

That decision was overturned three months later when the state government announced a year-long review into opening up dams for recreational sport.

Members of Wynnum Redlands Canoe Club and Queensland Canoeing hoped the dam would one day become an international kayaking venue.

The club claimed the dam was a naturally protected waveless pool with a uniquely flat and fast body of water up to 11m deep in parts - ideal for national kayaking events.

The club released plans in 2013 for a 1km and a 2km kayaking course on the dam with public access away from residences and Seqwater facilities.

Capalaba resident Brett Spink, who lives near the dam, said there was no reason for it to be closed to non-motorised water sports as Redland was on the water grid and got most of its supply from North Stradbroke Island.

“Seqwater is blaming the delays to upgrading the dam wall on safety issues when, in reality, it’s more likely a funding problem,” Mr Spink said.

“It is not a necessary upgrade because not a lot of drinking water comes from the dam, which is why they should open it up for water sports.

“The 2011 flood, a change in government and the merger of the water authorities are some of the other reasons the opening up of the dam has not happened since Seqwater released its recreational management plan in 2009.

“But we’ve been pushing for this for more than four years because it seems such a shame nearby residents can’t use the dam,” he said.