All-tide boat ramp plan on the rise

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A PRO­POSAL for an all-tide boat ramp for the com­mu­ni­ties of Dingo Beach and Hy­de­away bay has been re­floated, thanks to the ef­forts of lo­cal res­i­dent and keen fish­er­man War­ren Hardy.

The long-term Hy­de­away Bay res­i­dent is ask­ing coun­cil to con­sider his pro­posal for an all-tide boat ramp off the eastern side of Black­cur­rant Is­land, where there is a nat­u­ral deep wa­ter chan­nel, even at low tide.

Mr Hardy said the idea of build­ing an all-tide boat ramp within the Cape Glouces­ter dis­trict was first floated in 2004 but, af­ter amal­ga­ma­tion, had fallen off coun­cil’s radar.

Late last year, the cur­rent pres­i­dent of Glouces­ter Sports and Recre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion con­tacted the coun­cil ask­ing about the Black­cur­rant Is­land pro­posal.

There are cur­rently no alltide boat ramps ser­vic­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of Hy­de­away Bay, Dingo Beach and Nelly Bay.

This means there are only cer­tain win­dows dur­ing the day that boats can launch from and re­turn to shore, pre­sent­ing a safety haz­ard for boat­ies who need to come ashore quickly.

The near­est all-tide boat ramps are in Bowen and Can­non­vale.

The long-term Hy­de­away Bay res­i­dent said he un­der­stood that boat ramps did not ap­pear overnight, ex­plain­ing that his goal was to get Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil to sup­port his push and sub­mit a Recre­ational Boat­ing Fa­cil­ity Cap­i­tal Project Pro­posal to the State Gov­ern­ment.

“All-tide boat ramps are in­her­ently safer than part-tide ramps,” Mr Hardy said.

“There are a num­ber of benefits to coun­cil pur­su­ing this pro­posal – it would not re­quire dredg­ing, it’s not in a fish habi­tat zone, there would be no in­crease in traf­fic flows through Hy­de­away Bay or Dingo Beach, traf­fic and park­ing would be well away from res­i­den­tial ar­eas, the ramp could toe out well be­low the low­est tide, and it could sup­port a fu­ture Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue fa­cil­ity.”

Mr Hardy’s plan has in­prin­ci­ple sup­port from Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney, and a re­port from the for­mer State Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Forestry in­di­cated the pro­posed lo­ca­tion would “meet most of the ac­cept­able out­comes of the State Devel­op­ment As­sess­ment Pro­vi­sions.”

Mr Hardy met with coun­cil to dis­cuss the pro­posal yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Coun­cil­lors will in­spect the is­land to­day.

Search Black­cur­rant Is­land at www.change.org for more about the pro­posal or to sign the pe­ti­tion.

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