FISH ON: Bill O'Reilly with his 960mm Barra caught at Port Alma will have an easier time getting on the water once two new boat ramps were built.
FISH ON: Bill O'Reilly with his 960mm Barra caught at Port Alma will have an easier time getting on the water once two new boat ramps were built. Contributed

Rocky Council reveals two boat ramps are better than one

ROCKHAMPTON'S growing reputation as a fishing hotspot will be further enhanced thanks to progress on a new boat ramp plan.

Speaking at Rockhampton Regional Council's Infrastructure Committee, Mayor Margaret Strelow expressed her excitement regarding council's planned relocation of the Port Alma boat ramp.

She said council received correspondence from Queensland's Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey in July, indicating his support for council's plan to relocate the current Port Alma boat ramp into two new smaller two-lane boat ramps at Casuarina Creek and Inkerman Creek.

The two different boat ramps were proposed to allow boaties to access different parts of the river system and enable the targeting of different fish species, which would provide a boost to local fishing tourism.

Mr Bailey said he requested that TMR allocate funding sufficient to proceed with preliminary planning (design and approvals) for the in-water works at both sites.

He said further allocation of funding for capital works (boat ramps and floating walkways) was subject to receiving assurances from council and competing priorities for available funding.

"TMR has liaised with Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) who has agreed to partially fund the project and has offered to assist with the land-side development design,” Mr Bailey said.

The Minister requested that RRC and GPC come to an agreement on land-side works funding including a minimum of 45 parking bays, drainage, lights and other infrastructure.

He also specified that the Port Alma ramp should not be closed until the replacement boat ramps were complete.

The committee resolved to push ahead with the plan, secure rights to the land for the car parks, continue to negotiate a funding model with GPC for construction and maintenance for the car parks and for a further report to be presented to council on future budgetary impacts after detailed designs and costs for the Casuarina and Inkerman Creek car parks were completed.

Undertaking the development of the Casuarina and Inkerman Creek boat ramps will:

  • Support the implementation of the Rockhampton Recreational Fishing Development Strategy, where better boat ramp facilities in the Port Alma area were identified as a priority action.
  • Provide boat launching facilities that are well outside of the Port Alma Shipping Terminal and the Class 1 explosives overpressure area.
  • Support local jobs through construction and operation phases.
  • Support Rockhampton region's branding as the home of the Barramundi.
  • Support recreational fishing tourism in the region.
  • Support the region's growing recreational fishing industry including fishing charters.
  • Support council's mandate to attract new residents to the region as boat ramps enable lifestyle pursuits.
  • Leverage economic and social benefits from one of the region's most significant natural assets - the 70,000 hectares that makes up the Fitzroy Delta.

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