Redland City Council has urged the State Government to urgently fulfill its pledge to investigate building a new boat ramp at Russell Island’s Rocky Point.
It follows petitions to both Council and the State Government from island residents asking for an existing unofficial launch site at Rocky Point, on the island’s south-west coast, to be formalised.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said she was encouraged by Transport Minister Mark Bailey’s recent commitment to studies to open the way for the ramp.
But she said it was imperative that the State Government fully fund the ramp, its associated land-based infrastructure and ongoing maintenance.
“The State Government is responsible for funding recreational boating infrastructure, so we believe they should urgently complete the hydrographic investigations they have publicly committed to and get this project under way,’’ Cr Williams said.
“Redland City ratepayers have, in the past, picked up the tab for a variety of marine infrastructure which really should have been paid for by the state.
“But we cannot reasonably be expected to continue being one of the only city councils to fund marine infrastructure and so we expect the State to assume full funding responsibility for this boat ramp and its related infrastructure and maintenance.”
Local Councillor Mark Edwards (Division 5) said island residents had also raised the possibility of formalising the existing Rocky Point launch to provide an alternate evacuation route in case of uncontrolled bush fires on the southern end of the island.
“While Council’s fire review doesn’t specifically call for a formalised boat ramp at Rocky Passage I know it is a consideration for residents and I will be asking the State Government to take this into consideration.”
Cr Edwards said decisions for prioritising funding for boat ramps were made by the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ Boating Infrastructure Unit, with input from Council, with other state departments involved in the process.
“The tidal flats at Rocky Point are RAMSAR listed as well as an area of State Biodiversity Significance, so permits will be needed from various state agencies for a formalised ramp to be approved,’’ he said. “Development of this site will also require significant causeway construction to ensure suitable water depth for barges and recreational boats and that’s very much a state responsibility.”