CHANGE COMING: Rachel Willson has been working from her coffee business, Ruby's Caravan, based at Ross/Fig Tree Creek for the past five years and has seen many changes during that time.
CHANGE COMING: Rachel Willson has been working from her coffee business, Ruby's Caravan, based at Ross/Fig Tree Creek for the past five years and has seen many changes during that time. Trish Bowman

Fig Tree Creek plan gets green light

BOAT ramp, jetty and landing facilities at Yeppoon's Ross and Fig Tree creeks will be council governed after a landmark decision was reached this week.

Livingstone Shire Council voted unanimously to accept sole trusteeship over the recreation reserve which paves the way for the establishment of a long-term management plan for the area.

The issue of rundown and derelict jetty sites at Fig Tree Creek, a popular tourist spot, was thrust into the public spotlight last month as the council worked out what to do about a dry-docked boat there which some considered a potential safety hazard.

The formalisation of tenure over jetty sites in these creeks had not previously existed and Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said this week's breakthrough meant the Yeppoon Inlet Association would soon be able to oversee sub-lease arrangements for these facilities.

The Association had previously approached both the council and state government agencies with a proposal to jointly manage the existing jetty areas.

Livingstone Shire and the state government were joint trustees of the reserve, but the council's decision this week to take on sole trustee status brings this area in-line with other foreshore areas it manages.

Boats and jetties at Ross and Fig Tree creeks.
Boats and jetties at Ross and Fig Tree creeks. Trish Bowman

"All parties involved have been working towards this outcome for many years, which has been made possible thanks to the goodwill of the Darumbal people who are the Native Title owners of the areas,” Cr Ludwig said.

"In recognition of the importance of the area as a 'safe harbour' and historic mooring site for boats, Darumbal representatives entered into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Queensland Government that will allow compliant existing jetty structures to remain and be managed under the joint stewardship of council and Yeppoon Inlet Association.”

Cr Ludwig said ultimately the Inlet Association would take primary legal responsibility to ensure strict compliance by its members.

Yeppoon Inlet Association president Ray Barry said the group appreciated the opportunity, as a leasing agreement is developed to provide ongoing and regulated use of the inlet.

"The hard work begins now to bring about an aesthetic and cultural change to this very important entrance to Yeppoon,” he said.

"We know that we will be ably supported by our key partners - council, Fitzroy Basin Association, Maritime Safety Queensland and the wider Yeppoon community.”



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