NO CHOICE: Lake Burley Griffin Cruises owner Jim Paterson looking over the lake. Photo: Melissa Adams
While the new marker lights at Kingston Foreshore will soon illuminate the way for commercial operators gliding into the harbour, there will be no mooring of residents' boats in the new marina.
Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr will officially open the Kingston Harbour Foreshore on Wednesday. The development will become home to the bulk of the lake's commercial boat fleet.
The 12-metre high harbour markers on the Eyre Street Bridge have been lighting up the foreshore and operate in a similar fashion to street lights, turning on each evening when it gets dark.
The ACT government says commercial boat operators are being assisted in the licensing process as the new harbour becomes viable and the Land Development Agency is checking the water depth in Jerrabomberra Creek and the harbour to determine if it is adequate for commercial boats.
Land Development Agency chief executive David Dawes said he could not give a specific date due to the low water level of the lake while the Scrivener Dam maintenance works were carried out.
''Until the suitability of the water depth has been confirmed the opening time is unable to be confirmed,'' Mr Dawes said.
He said the commercial operators, who have all been offered a position on one of the available five jetties, would be able to enter into the licensing agreement when a date was set down. Any future residents of the luxurious lakeside apartments lining the harbour with thoughts of mooring private boats and yachts in the marina will have to reassess their plans. Federal government legislation for Lake Burley Griffin disallows the use of motorised boats for recreational purposes and the east basin water level is too low to support any luxury yachts.
Mr Dawes said it was highly unlikely yachts would wish to use the moorings as the water levels of the East Basin were lower than those of the west and the area had been designed specifically for commercial operators.
Lake Burley Griffin Cruises owner Jim Paterson said it was likely he would sign on to secure his boat at the harbour.
He said the commercial boat operators had moored in the location before they were moved in 2004 to make way for the foreshore development. ''I am taking a fairly long-term look at the site as to how it will end up for us,'' Mr Paterson said. ''[But] I don't think we've got much of a choice.''