Tony Williams at the new North Rockhampton boat ramp in late 2017.
Tony Williams at the new North Rockhampton boat ramp in late 2017.

Tony's vision of more boat ramps, fishing platforms

WHILE he may be unopposed, Tony Williams was ready for a battle if someone was going to contest him for the councillor seat of division three at Rockhampton Regional Council.

Having begun his career in local government in 2004, Tony has seen amalgamations and de-amalgamations.

This year marks the beginning be his fifth term and despite this, Tony said he still had a lot of passion and drive for the community.

"Delivering projects for the community and seeing them come to fruition gives me great satisification as a councillor," he said.

One of Tony's favourite projects is the $5 million North Rockhampton Boat Ramp.

He said it was sorely needed and after extensive public consultation, the facility was opened in August 2018.

"It's very well used and not only for the recreational fishers but for the business opportunities for the charter operators and the tournaments we have as well," Tony said.

The boat ramp might even become multi-use as it could potentially be a burnout pad for Rockynats in June.

Off the back of this, Tony is eager to see two new boat ramps built in the Port Alma area.

"They will be the bookends for the existing facilities we have upgraded in the city," Tony said.

"The existing access is very poor and safety wise it is very dangerous."

The new ramps would allow for access to the mouth and the delta when the river is in flood.

Not only would this help the fishing operators, it would have great economic benefits in terms of tourism.

Another project he is proud of is the off-leash dog area at All Blacks Park at Koongal.

"It was something that the community brought to me that they didn't have any of that kind of infrastructure," Tony said.

"It was great to see we were able to support and build that."

The fishing platform was another one Tony rallied and lobbied on behalf of the community for. Many of his constituents in the Koongal area approached him with their desire for one.

"The community was saying not everyone owns a boat and we all fish off the river and they want the chance to catch that metre long barra," he said.

"(We are) trying to provide fishing areas that are more suitable and croc wise, along with stabilising the Fitzroy River banks."

As the chair of the Infrastructure committee, Tony Williams has a strong interest in the North Rockhampton Flood Mitigation project.

The first stage resulted in 400 homes in the Berkserker area being protected.

"In 2017 we had a riverine flood and I was the most ­nervous person you could see, I was driving around of a night time looking for wet patches in the wall," he said.

"It was great to see that was a successful project and it won awards for that."

The second stage delivered further protection as they raised Water St and put valves on.

"To another 100 odd properties protected there so that is close to 500 homes on the northside that won't have to worry about the Q100 flood from the river," he said.

Pilbeam Drive and Mount Archer were also projects Tony highlighted as stand outs.

"They are things that happen during a term but you don't get the benefit until they are complete," he said.

Speaking of Mount Archer, Tony would like to push for a walking path from the top of the mountain all the way down to the river, using the creek and waterways.

He said a lot of the paths were there, it was just a matter of joining those missing links. It would go through Rigalsford Park and all around Kalka Shades and into The Common area.

He would also like to see Stenhouse Park developed as a war memorial with silhouettes of servicemen on ­sandstone blocks with flags and schools could have their services there.

A strong community in Tony's electorate is the South Sea Islanders who he has always been a supporter of.

Tony is also chair of the Local Disaster Management Group and has plans for fire mitigation and better ways to protect communities through cool burns and control lines.

"We have to take steps now to protect some of our exposed communities and work through education," he said.

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