Push for timely upgrade to boat ramp

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
The "vital" Canal Rocks Bpat ramp needs to be upgraded.
Camera IconThe "vital" Canal Rocks Bpat ramp needs to be upgraded. Credit: Supplied

The Canal Rocks boat ramp has received new safety warning signs from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, which is seeking State Government funding for a new finger jetty and ramp realignment for the “vital” ramp.

Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue vice-commander Paul Bresland said the proposed new finger jetty and ramp were essential for emergency response and fire evacuation purposes.

“It’s a vital bit of infrastructure and should be upgraded as soon as possible,” he said.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the McGowan Government supported the Canal Rocks boat ramp remaining open but community safety was always the No.1 priority.

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“Given the popularity of the ramp, we engaged a marine consultancy, Marico Marine, to undertake an independent risk assessment. Marico’s report recommended that the ramp remain open, and that improvements be made to increase safety,” he said.

“The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is currently in the process of developing detailed engineering designs for a new finger jetty and ramp realignment at the site and will be seeking funds through the Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme.” The DBCA has improved signs at the ramp to ensure users are informed of its safety risks.

“I endorse DBCA’s recommendation to keep the boat ramp open to all users, with ongoing works to mitigate any potential risks,” Mr Dawson said.

After almost 18 months of studies, rallies, consultations and petitions, Recfishwest, the WA Fishing Industry Council and the State Government have acknowledged the ramp is the only marine infrastructure in the area and, as such, is essential for emergency response.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said it was vital that the upgrade be prioritised in the 2019-20 State Budget.

“It is a very encouraging outcome that the ramp will remain open providing continued access for the Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue group, commercial and recreational users, divers and tourism operators,” she said.

“It is essential that funding is allocated.”

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