Proposal for new launch facilities to meet demand
THERE is a shortfall of boating facilities in the Townsville region and demand is only set to increase.
A report published by the Department of Transport and Main Roads identified that new facilities should be built in the growth areas of the Townsville northern beaches and Alligator Creek.
It also predicted there would be 19,367 boat owners living in the Townsville City Council area by 2036.
The department recommended a new $ 2.76 million facility be built on the Bohle River within five years.
The two- lane ramp would feature a floating walkway and 45 car- trailer unit spaces.
The proposed new facility at Alligator Creek would include a four- lane ramp with floating walkway and 90 CTU spaces.
Forecasts show that infrastructure is needed in the next 10 years.
About 7 per cent of residents in the Townsville area own boats.
Bulletin fishing columnist Eddie Riddle, who runs Eddie Riddle’s Fish City Charters, said the two new ramps would be welcomed by the local fishing community.
But he said the Alligator Creek project should get priority.
Mr Riddle said the Bohle River was overfished from boaters using the existing ramp in that area.
“Putting another ramp into that system would compound the problem,” he said.
“And it’s not a system that’s open to the sea on a regular basis.”
Mr Riddle said fishermen would prefer the Alligator Creek option, which would also serve the neighbouring creeks and offer better openwater access.
Bill Green, who regularly launches his boat from the Coast Guard ramp in Townsville, said he found it difficult to access Alligator Creek and other creeks in the surrounding area.
He said a boat ramp with public access in Alligator Creek would give boaties more access to creeks and the open ocean.
The biggest problems Townsville boaties face at local ramps are the travel time from launches to the open water and the security of vehicles at boat ramps.
There is a lack of lighting and surveillance in carparking areas at several popular ramps, with vehicles broken in to or vandalised while the owners are out on their vessels.
Travel times are also a concern as the new Townsville Recreational Boating Park is further from openwater than the popular Sir Leslie Thiess Drive facility in Ross Creek.
The region’s population is expected to increase to 288,593 by 2036 and there is significant demand for recreational boating infrastructure as a result of tourism.
There are there are 20 boat ramp facilities in the Townsville area, containing 41 boat ramp lanes.