Yachties’ ramp anger

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

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

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