Min­is­ter signs on the dot­ted line for ramp

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY fish­er­man Bob Spees will never for­get the day a five-year-old girl could have died on the Whis­per Bay boat ramp in Can­non­vale.

“And that’s what this whole thing’s been about – mak­ing it safe for ev­ery­body,” he said of his five-year fight to up­grade the ramp, which is ex­posed in northerly winds.

While Mr Spees couldn’t at­tend yesterday’s sym­bolic sign­ing over of the $3 mil­lion up­grade cost by State Min­is­ter for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bai­ley, he was very much there in spirit.

“The main is­sue has al­ways been the safety of mums, kids and hol­i­day peo­ple,” he said.

“I want to thank the State Gov­ern­ment for what they’ve done in com­ing up with the money they promised prior to the elec­tion.

“And I want to thank coun­cil for all the work they’ve put into it – they’ve all de­liv­ered on their prom­ises in the end.”

Among those who at­tended the for­mal­i­ties on site yesterday morn­ing was coun­cil­lor John Atkin­son, who fought for the up­grade along­side Mr Spees.

“It’s a great day con­sid­er­ing it’s taken four or five years to get this far,” Cr Atkin­son said.

“I’m thrilled at the fact it’s fi­nally ready to start.”

Cr Atkin­son said the boat ramp, with its ex­ten­sive park­ing lot, was presently un­der­utilised when strong north- west­er­lies were blow­ing and he was look­ing for­ward to see­ing that change.

Af­ter an ini­tial stum­ble, con­fus­ing Pi­o­neer Bay with Shute Har­bour, min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley said the boat ramp was ex­pected to be fin- ished by De­cem­ber, weather per­mit­ting, which would be a “great Christ­mas present for lo­cal boat­ies”.

“Early work is start­ing to­day, this week,” he said.

The State Gov­ern­ment made an elec­tion fund­ing com­mit­ment to up­grade the Can­non­vale boat ramp and Mr Bai­ley said La­bor was de­liv­er­ing on it.

The up­grade con­tracts have been awarded to a Bowen com­pany and a Queens­land com­pany, which Mr Bai­ley said showed La­bor’s com­mit­ment to lo­cal jobs.

Mr Bai­ley said he was “ab­so­lutely” happy to be able to de­liver some­thing the for­mer LNP gov­ern­ment had been un­able to do dur­ing its term in of­fice.

IT'S OF­FI­CIAL: Coun­cil­lors John Atkin­son, Jan Clifford and Peter Ra­m­age, Mem­ber for Mackay Julieanne Gil­bert, Min­is­ter for Main Roads and Ports Mark Bai­ley, Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney, Cr John Collins and Deputy Mayor An­drew Will­cox on the boat ramp.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.