Yachties’ ramp anger
THE Port Douglas Yacht Club has written to Cairns Regional Council to express concerns over the proposed relocation of the public boat ramp from the mouth of Dickson Inlet to their front door as part of the proposed Waterfront redevelopment.
“We’re very concerned at the plans to relocate the boat ramp to our little part of the world,” yacht club rear commodore Mick Gwilliams said.
The club called a meeting of members on Sunday to discuss the plan to expand the current single-lane boat ramp, upgrading it to a four-lane facility with more than 50 trailer-parks.
Mr Gwilliams said members had highlighted a range of issues, including the proximity of the ramp to the club, the increased traffic it would bring and the effect it would have on the regular operations of the club.
None of the yacht club members present at a weekend meeting supported the relocation of the ramp.
“We don’t want it there at all,” Mr Gwilliams said.
“We can’t think of too many advantages.
“While having the boat ramp next door could result in increased traffic, it’s not necessarily the sort of traffic that would benefit us.”
Mr Gwilliams said the proposed location of the boat ramp was impractical not just for the yacht club, but also for boat users.
“The new ramp would be right on our doorstep, on a narrow point of the creek where the tidal flow can be very strong.
“That’s a blind bend close to crocodile habitat and it’s also very close to our club pontoon.
“The ramp needs to be further up the creek, perpendicular to the river.”
Mr Gwilliams said the pro- posed 57-site trailer-park would bisect the club’s lease and make it difficult to access the yacht club hard stand, where members’ boats were stored.
“At the very least, we’ve asked council to consider a land swap, so we can still have access to the hard stand,” he said.
“We think they also need to consider ablution facilities.
“We’re not open in the mornings and we think council may have overlooked that.
Council said the yacht club submission would be considered along with all the others.
“We want to work with people,” council’s regional manager for Douglas Liz Collyer said.
“The yacht club wants to maintain its character, and we’ve talked about some options.
“The whole idea of the masterplan is to maintain the unhurried relaxed feel of Port Douglas.”
Any individual or group who wishes to have a say on the Waterfront masterplan has until 5pm today to make a submission to council.
Not happy: Port Douglas yacht club members like Garry White, Colin Simpson, Warwick and Sarah Birtwistle and Mick Gwilliams don’t want the boat ramp expanded