Council floats Shute Harbour solution to parking problem
FERRIES to the Whitsunday islands could once again launch from Shute Harbour.
In the confidential section of last week’s meeting, Whitsunday Regional Council passed a resolution to allow Cruise Whitsundays to operate ferries from the facility for six months.
There will also be free parking offered to those using the facility, which will have one pontoon operational for ferries.
According to Division One councillor Jan Clifford, there was still work to be done before this could proceed.
“There is clean up to be done and we have to check with MSQ the channels are totally clear,” Cr Clifford said.
“We have got one pontoon that will be put into place and then there has to be a safe ramp down there,” she added.
Cr Clifford said while there wasn’t a set time-frame she expected it to go ahead “fairly soon”.
Whitsunday mayor Andrew Willcox said the idea was floated as a means of reducing the current impacts on Port of Airlie.
“We are trying to work with the islands to get another ferry point to take some of the pressure off the Port of Airlie car park situation,” he said.
“So we are working out a way to get the tradies out of Shute Harbour so we can free up the Port of Airlie for the tourists.
Cr Clifford said recreational boaties waiting to use the Shute Harbour boat ramp would need to wait a bit longer.
“It’s all a work in progress and there are heaps of things to do to make it safe to use,” she said.
“The last thing I want is for (someone) to launch a boat and hit a rock, we need things as safe as we can.”
In the meantime, Cr Clifford recommends people make use of the Port of Airlie and Whisper Bay Boat ramps.
Council are also seeking upgrades to the Shute Harbour facility via Category B and D funding, as it would fall under the umbrella of a being a project providing an economic benefit to the region.
Category D funding is yet to be approved at a federal level.
Cruise Whitsundays was contacted but is unable to make a comment at this stage.
CHANGES: Maika McDonald, Lauren Squires, Karen Gordon, and Katelin Gordon at Shute Harbour.