Wonga ramps up pe­ti­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

FOUR hun­dred peo­ple have signed a pe­ti­tion at Rocky Point (South Wonga Beach) – nearly half the town’s pop­u­la­tion – to ei­ther up­grade sub­stan­tially or to re­place the age­ing boat ramp.

Kelly Lash, the owner of the Cane Fire phar­macy, at Wonga Beach said he started the pe­ti­tion in a bid to get some­thing done about the poor state of the ramp.

“It has al­most been 20 years of wran­gling to get some­thing done about this un­safe ramp and hope­fully the 400 sig­na­tures which were pre­sented to coun­cil last week will force them to take ac­tion,” Mr Lash said.

“It is old and has served its pur­pose but it can no longer han­dle the volume of boats and ve­hi­cles that use it.

“Also it is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to turn any large boats as there is a bend on the cor­ner of the ramp and you just can­not see and fur­ther high­lights the dan­ger.”

The ramp is a very nar­row sin­gle lane con­crete ramp which has quick ac­cess to the Dain­tree River mouth, Snap­per Is­land and the Outer Reef.

Ex­treme cau­tion needs to be taken when leav­ing or en­ter­ing near the rock bar, par­tic­u­larly when it is windy. Northerly winds are very dif­fi­cult to launch ves­sels from this point.

There can also be a long wait when the ramp is busy be­cause it is so long and nar­row.

And Di­vi­sion 10 Coun­cil­lor Ju­lia Leu said the pe­ti­tion was pre­sented to coun­cil last Wed­nes­day and she has asked coun­cil for a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ramp and its safety.

“It cer­tainly needs to be made safer be­cause at present it silts up with sand and cars of­ten be­come bogged,” Ms Leu said.

“And that means peo­ple have to get out of their ve­hi­cles and stand in the wa­ter which is some­thing you re­ally don’t want to do around here.

“We can only get a new ramp for the com­mu­nity if Queens­land Trans­port grants per­mis­sion to do so but I do want the coun­cil to in­ves­ti­gate ways of im­prov­ing the boat ramp in the mean­time.

“It re­ally has be­come un­safe and needs some­thing done sooner rather than later.”

Photo by MAR­TINE COT­TON

Call for ac­tion: Pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser Kelly Lash and Cr Ju­lia Leu.at the site of the Rocky Point boat ramp

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