Huge new Rocky project given go ahead, 50 jobs up for grabs
ROCKHAMPTON'S mad keen anglers have made it clear they wanted the North Rockhampton boat ramp upgraded and now their wish has been granted.
A host of political dignitaries were on hand to reveal the detailed designs for a new multi-million dollar, four-lane boating facility and its supporting infrastructure including a 50 space carpark and floating walkway earlier today.
In what promises to be a great boost for unemployment, Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne said 50 people would be employed by the project which was being funded by the Queensland Government's $200 million Work for Queensland Program and the $30 million Marine Infrastructure Fund.
"This will be a very important piece of infrastructure here on the north side to support the fishing community and particularly tourism and recreational fishing sectors," Mr Byrne said.
"The Queensland Government is investing $3 million into this new facility which will greatly improve capacity for boaties in the region with the capacity for scores of vehicles and boat trailers on site."
Mr Byrne said with more than 5000 registered boats in the area, the new facility situated adjacent to Callaghan Park Racecourse, was expected to provide the long-term benefits in the coming years that would reach far beyond the fishing community into the business community.
"This will make a great difference to the convenience and accessibility for fishing in Central Queensland," he said.
"It's another stage in a very deliberate policy to turn the mighty Fitzroy into a fishing Mecca, it already is."
Rockhampton Region Councillor Tony Williams, who chairs the Infrastructure committee, said the project was the result of extensive public consultation since the initiation of the Recreational Fishing Development Strategy.
"Council went out to public consultation to ask the community what they'd like to see as far as marine infrastructure on the Fitzroy and there was overwhelming support for a North Rockhampton boat ramp," Cr Williams said.
"The existing facility is very outdated and on on a bend which is very difficult to manoeuvre into, this new four lane facility with a pontoon down the centre of the lanes is going to make it a very easy access and entry point into the river to take advantage of our mighty Fitzroy."
Both Mr Byrne and Cr Williams agreed the Fitzroy River's fish stocks hadn't looked better since the ending of commercial netting activities in 2016.
"Most people in CQ and Rockhampton would know the net-free zone is delivering dividends we always expected it would. The data we've been getting since commercial nets have been removed is very impressive," Mr Byrne said.
"The quality and quantity of fish being taken in the system is demonstrably better than what it has been in many years past."
In another good news boating announcement, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said seven new public moorings and 20 new reef protection markers have now been installed in Keppel Bay which will enable visitors to spend more time on the Reef without dropping anchors that can damage coral.
These moorings have been installed at Shelving Beach at Great Keppel Island.
"I'm so pleased that they have now been installed and ready for use by local boaties - this is a great win for Keppel," Ms Lauga said.
The project was a joint initiative of the Palaszczuk Government's $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program (SRIPP) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.