State pledges six figure sum for Gloucester area boat ramp
AFTER 10 years of community lobbying, council funded surveys and controversy about where it should be built, yesterday the Palaszczuk Government announced three potential sites had been slated for a "new boat ramp" at Ding Beach or Hydeaway Bay.
However, there was no mention of an all-tide facility in the media release from Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, who encouraged locals to have their say on where the proposed boat ramp should be built.
"Locations being considered include Blackcurrant Island near Hydeaway Bay, Dingo Beach and the Frog Rock area on the west coast of Cape Gloucester," Mr Bailey said.
These same three options were revealed by a Whitsunday Regional Council-funded feasibility study conducted by GHD in 2016 which were based on an earlier study done by RPS in 2010.
Mr Bailey said he was the Palaszczuk Government was committed to delivering a new or upgraded boating facility in partnership with the Whitsunday Regional Council and urged boaties to use the Get Involved online survey function to have their say.
The news from the State Government comes only two months after the Whitsunday Regional Council scuttled the idea of an all-tide boat ramp in the area citing the project was "not feasible" as it was too expensive.
Advocate for improved facilities in the area, Catherine Bradshaw said that in a meeting with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and community stake holders last Friday, the state made it clear $1.4 million was available for boat ramp upgrades.
Also a member of the Save Blackcurrant Island group, Ms Bradshaw said it was encouraging the State Government was taking an interest in boat ramp upgrades however "we certainly feel TMR was under weighting the environmental concerns we have".
"It's too early to say if it's (the funding) positive, we will have wait and see," she said.
At the meeting, Ms Bradshaw said stakeholders were asked to vote if they wanted a boat ramp on Blackcurrant Island and three people voted for this option and 13 people voted in favour of a Dingo Beach boat ramp upgrade.
Advocate of the proposed all-tide facility at Blackcurrant island, Warren Hardy, was approached for commen.
Community consultation will be open from May 14 to June 14.
Visit the State Government's Your Say website for more information.