A draft management plan for the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan has been given a thumbs down by the Guardians of Lake Dunstan.
Contact Energy was required to provide a landscape and visual amenity management plan as part of its resource consent to operate hydroelectric facilities on the Clutha River, and the draft plan is with the Central Otago District Council for consultation.
But Guardians of Lake Dunstan chairman Duncan Faulkner said the current plan was ‘‘basically a blank canvas’’ and did not go far enough to address the problems in the Kawarau Arm.
‘‘Whatever is in place at the moment isn’t working.’’
The foreshore of the Kawarau Arm was not visually appealing as it had a large amount of driftwood piled up on the shore.
Lagarosiphon was growing on the lake surface and silt was piling up on the lake bed.
The guardians had made a submission to the Central Otago District Council raising serious concerns over the inadequacies of the plan, Mr Faulkner said.
Contact Energy community relations and projects manager Neil Gillespie said this was the second five-yearly reassessment of the plan and was a condition of the resource consents held by Contact Energy in respect of the Clyde dam.
‘‘We have developed a draft of the reassessed plan that will be debated and discussed in good faith as part of consultation with the community via the CODC and the ORC.’’
Contact Energy expected to hear feedback and views from the Guardians of Lake Dunstan group and the wider community as part of the consultation process now under way, he said.
‘‘From there we’ll be able to complete the reassessment of the plan to set out how we’ll manage the effects of our hydro-generation activities on the landscape and visual amenity of the Kawarau Arm,’’ Mr Gillespie said.
Central Otago District Council planning manager David Campbell said the draft plan had been sent to the council for comment and was yet to be assessed.
The council had not formed a position on whether Contact Energy was doing enough to maintain the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan.
It would relate back to the consent conditions that the ORC administered, Mr Campbell said.
ORC general manager regulatory Richard Saunders said it had received the draft plan, which it was evaluating for compliance with the resource consent.
‘‘We have also received comment from the Guardians of Lake Dunstan and are considering these comments as part of the review process.’’
Until the evaluation process was complete, it would not be appropriate for it to comment on the plan, he said.