Pub­lic nui­sance

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY Re­gional Coun­cil is seek­ing a so­lu­tion for the con­tro­ver­sial Can­non­vale boat ramp and has come up with a plan that is likely to be cheaper and more work­able than the one cur­rently on the draw­ing board.

Over the past few months, Coun­cil’s Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer (CFO) Matthew McGoldrick has joined forces with ex­ter­nal con­sul­tants to re-visit the is­sue.

The team be­gan by ex­am­in­ing the plans for a $6.4mil­lion rock wall and ramp re-align­ment / float­ing pon­toon ar­range­ment, de­vised as a re­sult of a fea­si­bil­ity study funded by the for­mer State La­bor Gov­ern­ment.

By ask­ing the ques­tion “what are we ac­tu­ally try­ing to pro­tect” they have de­ter­mined th­ese cur­rent plans are some­what ‘over-en­gi­neered’.

Mr McGoldrick said the de­sign was based on the worst-case sce­nario of the fa­cil­ity hav­ing to sur­vive a one-in-50-year storm event and be en­gi­neered to out­last ris­ing sea le- vels as a re­sult of cli­mate change.

“I think that’s just a bit ex­ces­sive – they’ve just been very, very cau­tious,” he said.

Mr McGoldrick said there were sim­ple so­lu­tions, such as re­lax­ing rock wall heights to match those of the ex­ist­ing mari­nas, which would re­duce the project costs and make it more fea­si­ble to fund.

Coun­cil’s CEO Scott Wa­ters said th­ese find­ings made per­fect sense.

“The so­lu­tion doesn’t need to be over-en­gi­neered – at [winds of] 30 knots you’re prob­a­bly not go­ing to be putting your boat in any­way,” he said.

Lo­cal fish­er­man Bob Spees, who has been at the fore­front of the boat ramp fight for the past few years, to­tally agreed.

“It’s the 10-15 knot nor’east­ers where the lady fell over and the lit­tle girl went un­der the boat that we need to worry about,” he said.

“And I’m sick of telling peo­ple ‘don’t use the ramp’ - ei­ther shut the thing or fix it.” Whit­sun­day Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney said Coun­cil would con­tinue on its cur­rent path and start to “look at any fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties out there”.

“Par­tic­u­larly with the up­com­ing State Gov­ern­ment elec­tions, if there’s any lever­age or op­por­tu­nity, we want to see that does oc­cur,” she said. PUB­LIC nui­sance of­fences con­tinue to be preva­lent in the night­club strip of Air­lie Beach, with six ar­rests in the past week. A 30-year-old Mooloolaba man was ar­rested for a vi­o­lent pub­lic nui­sance of­fence at 11.30pm on Oc­to­ber 25. A 24-year-old Emer­ald man and 33-year-old Bud­erim man were ar­rested at 1am on Oc­to­ber 26, with both to re­ceive long-term ban­ning no­tices. At about the same time, a 29-year-old man from Kan­ga­roo Point and a 24-year-old Glenella man were also ar­rested. The fi­nal ar­rest was a 20-year-old over­seas tourist in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion inside the toi­lets at Paddy’s Shenani­gans at 2.20am on Oc­to­ber 28.

MAK­ING A PLAN: Cr Jan Clif­ford, Whit­sun­day Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney and pro­pri­etor of Whit­sun­day Fish­ing World Bob Spees, with pro­pos­als for a re-vamp of the Can­non­vale boat ramp.

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