A NEW canoe deal for Tasmanian whitewater paddlers from Hydro Tasmania will signal a new era for the recreational sport.
For many years, the Hobart-based Derwent Canoe Club has been using an area at Bradys Lake in the Central Highlands for paddling, with Hydro Tasmania’s co-operation.
The new licence agreement formalises those arrangements for the first time.
Derwent Canoe Club commodore Peter Eckhart said the agreement paved the way for the slalom course to be upgraded in the coming months.
“Bradys is Australia’s premier natural channel slalom course. It’s used by our Olympic and national teams for training camps and selection races,” he said.
“This agreement with Hydro Tasmania supports the world-class whitewater canoeing opportunities we have in Tasmania and gives our sport an even brighter future.
“It will help facilitate many events and opportunities that would not have otherwise been possible.”
Mr Eckhart said the formal agreement was the first of its kind in Australia.
“Around the world, only three other countries have such agreements where the water authority works closely with community canoeing clubs,” he said.
Hydro chief executive officer Evangelista Albertini said the company was proud to support Tasmanian recreational water users.
Mr Albertini said the agreement was not expected to affect Hydro Tasmania’s hydropower operations in any meaningful way, but provided paddlers and Hydro Tasmania employees with clear guidelines about managing the Bradys Lake area as both a generating asset and world-class slalom course, to the benefit of both parties.
Caption: Licence to paddle: Derwent Canoe Club commodore Peter Eckhardt, left, and Sailing Australia’s Richard McMinn with Hydro Tasmania’s Kirsten Kuns, left, and Nicole Sherriff.