News

'Disappointing': Our boaties won't see a cent of $30m fund

Busy Bray Park boat ramp.
Busy Bray Park boat ramp. Mike Richards GLA010516HOOK

GLADSTONE has been left high and dry in the latest round of marine funding.

Main Roads and Ports Minister Mark Bailey announced this week that Queensland boaties were set to get a $30m boost under the Palaszczuk Government's Marine Infrastructure Fund.

And despite the fact that the Gladstone marina holds one of the highest boat ownerships per capita in Australia, the Gladstone region was left off the list.

The state government funding is for 70 projects in other regions for rebuilds, upgrades, duplications and installations of floating walkways, boat ramps and pontoons and improved access to channels.

Gladstone Area Promotion Development Limited (GAPDL) CEO Darryl Branthwaite said it was disappointing Gladstone missed out, after constant lobbying to get the Boyne River channel re-established since the 2011 flooding.

"The access to the Boyne River is very restrictive if you have more than 200mm of draft," he said.

"It appears that our whole region from Baffle all the way to the top of the Narrows has missed out and I'm not sure why."

Mr Branthwaite said the funding was also much needed to improve access to Round Hill Creek, to the point where at times commercial operators are unable to use it.

"It has silted up so much," he said.

"Cruising boats are hesitant in calling in, with the lack of navigable depth in the channel.

"This is the regions jumping off point to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and we need to keep this channel deep enough to increase the capacity of the operators.

"This helps not only the operator have a financially sound business but also helps employment visitation to the regions and the economy moves forward and flourishes."

Mr Branthwaite said the issues would continue to be lobbied for until "they are rectified".

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said despite Gladstone missing out, there are a couple of "exciting issues" that will benefit the recreational fishing community, with announcements to be made in coming months.

"Gladstone has been successful in receiving boat ramp upgrades in previous funding including the Toolooa Bends boat ramp and the NRG boat ramp," he said.

"There is also ongoing work with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Gladstone Ports Corporation.

However, the lack of funding towards Gladstone may have been a result of residents missing the online recreational boating survey, available on the Queensland Government website.

Mr Bailey said many of the projects were identified through the survey.

"We received more than 1000 submissions through the Get Involved website and this feedback has been invaluable in identifying which projects are most needed," he said. Head to getinvolved.qld. gov.au .

Topics:  boating, commercial fishing, gladstone, recreational fishing



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