Upgrade planned after backflip

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Naturaliste Marine Rescue Group vice commander Paul Bresland, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam and Naturaliste Marine Rescue Group Commander Geoff Brierley
Camera IconNaturaliste Marine Rescue Group vice commander Paul Bresland, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam and Naturaliste Marine Rescue Group Commander Geoff Brierley Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times

Yallingup’s Canal Rocks boat ramp will be upgraded in 2020 after receiving $653,250 in State Government funding.

In 2017, it was announced the popular facility was slated for closure because of safety concerns.

However, earlier this year, a heated public campaign spearheaded by Recfishwest, the WA fishing industry and the Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue group caused the WA Government to backflip. Work on the ramp is expected to begin in October after the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions was awarded the funding in the latest round of the Department of Transport’s Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme.

Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue vice-commander Paul Bresland said the funding was long overdue.

“It’s a very good outcome for everyone who uses a boat in the region,” he said.

“Canal Rocks boat ramp is an important evacuation point for potential fires in Yallingup and Injidup.

“It is essential emergency response infrastructure and we’ve always said it had to be upgraded for safety reasons.”

It took 18 months of studies, rallies, consultations and petitions for the Government to endorse funding for the tired jetty and agree the ramp was essential for emergency response.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the funding for Canal Rocks wouldprovide improved and safer facilities for recreational boat owners.

“At Canal Rocks the boat ramp will be replaced and realigned, the toe extended and a new finger jetty constructed,” she said.

“This will allow safer landings and departures, and provide the local volunteer marine rescue with a safer option to carry out rescues in an isolated area.”

About 500 people attended the second rally to stop the closure of the Canal Rocks boat ramp.
Camera IconAbout 500 people attended the second rally to stop the closure of the Canal Rocks boat ramp. Credit: Chloe Fraser, Busselton-Dunsborough Times.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam tabled a 3000-signature petition against the closure in Parliament in November, 2017.

She said it was a credit to the Capes community that the project was progressing.

“It is a credit to the wider communities of Busselton and Dunsborough that the McGowan Government backflipped on their decision to close the boat ramp and that this project is getting the investment it deserves,” she said.

Ms Mettam said the ramp provided crucial access for the Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue group, as well as commercial and recreational users.

DBCA will keep the ramp open while upgrades are undertaken.

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