DEEP WATER: Hydeaway Bay resident Warren Hardy on the site of the proposed Blackcurrant Island all-tides boat ramp.
DEEP WATER: Hydeaway Bay resident Warren Hardy on the site of the proposed Blackcurrant Island all-tides boat ramp. Matthew Newton

Ramp idea resurfaces

AN ALL-TIDE boat ramp for Blackcurrant Island is back on the agenda, thanks to the efforts of Hydeaway Bay local Warren Hardy.

There are currently no all-tide boat ramps servicing 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.

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 also contacted the council asking about the Blackcurrant Island proposal.

Mr Hardy is now asking for 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.

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 in-principle 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."

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

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