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.