Boaties propose 'best' spot for Midge Point ramp
THE owners of Laguna Quays resort at Midge Point will allow access to the closed-off marina and boat ramp for the local Volunteer Marine Rescue.
The area will remain closed indefinitely to the remainder of the community, however, meaning no boat ramp access for locals.
Fullshare Industrial Holding Group responded to calls from the community, and while Midge Point fishing and recreational club president Dolph Lossberg was glad to see some movement, the key issue remained.
"It's good that they've allowed VMR to use the boat ramp, although I wonder who the resort thinks they plan to rescue when no boaties in Midge Point can get there boats out because there's no ramp to use," he said.
"The boat ramp still isn't an all tide boat ramp meaning if it's low tide VMR can't get out to conduct a rescue anyway.
"It's the same issue for several ramps along the coast, they should be able to go in there and put their boats in at any time of the day, we just need a new ramp all together."
Midge Point VMR president Gary Considine said the lack of all tide ramps in North Queensland as a whole was a prominent issue and meant limited help could be provided in several rescue scenarios.
"If we get a call out at low tide we would have to wait about an hour, hour and a half to go out because the water is too shallow and the ramp doesn't allow us to get our vessel out," Mr Considine said.
"Quite a few ramps aren't all tide right up and down the coast of North Queensland, it's a big problem, at Midge Point there should definitely be a 24 hour a day ramp there.
"It's a community problem too just for fishermen who want to get their boats out at all, nobody knows when or if anything ever will happen at the marina, it could be years before we see a fix there."
The Midge Point club has put in a formal proposal to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for a new, all-tide boat ramp east of Jimmy's Rocks.
That site is both wide and deep enough to facilitate a ramp and car parking area, and according to Mr Lossberg, would have minimal impact on the surrounding environment due to the rocky nature of the ground and lack of mangroves.
"I spoke to a guy from TMR last night who said the location we proposed looked like the best inlet he'd seen from O'Connell Beach to Seaforth," he said.
"And it would be good because it's all flat, all rocks here already so if we added more we're not damaging any reef or fish habitats, also most of the fish here are rock dwellers so it would suit them well."
"The area is more protected than the spot we first thought at Jimmy's Rocks and would work to put in an all tide ramp."
FRC member Ashley King was one of many avid anglers and Midge Point residents who wants to see the boat ramp approved and not put on the back burner by the TMR.
"I understand Laguna Quays having to close off the ramp for safety reasons but to not know when or if it will ever be fixed isn't good enough and in the mean time we're left with nowhere," he said.
"Even if it opens up again it's subpar and seeing areas like St Helens getting a $1.7 million upgrade on their working boat ramp, well it's just a bit of a kick in the guts for us who now having nothing at all.
"We're in the same shire, we have the same kind of beach living community at St Helens and yet we've been pushed to the side."
The FRC plan to lobby for the boat ramp and said they will be starting a petition in coming weeks.
They will be looking to Whitsunday ALP candidate, and local resident, Bronwyn Taha and sitting MP Jason Costigan for support.