30 Jul 2019 Estimates-Transport and Main Roads – Gatakers Boat Ramp

by Ted Sorensen
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Hervey Bay needs improvements in boating ramp safety – but it clearly won’t happen under an ALP government.
I also did my own media on Gatakers boat ramp, as it’s a constant issue of the channel to the ramp becoming silted up, so boaties can barely use it anymore.

I asked Minister Bailey a Question on Notice (below) 11 June 2019 – about the maintenance of the Gatakers Bay Boat Ramp, which he answered exactly a month later, on the 11 July, 2019.

Minister Bailey in his answer, said that there was no ‘current plans to dredge at this location’.

There were so many inaccuracies in the answer from the Minister, it was filed in the bin.

Common sense says that, with a simple and regular maintenance program on the ramp and the channel – it wouldn’t a huge ordeal to fix each time.

But there’s more.
To add insult to injury, the Minister then went public in the local paper two (2) weeks later on the 25 July, 2019 (attached) having a direct go at me about the issue.

The Minister said if I had bothered to ask the question, I would have realised that work will be done by the end of the year.  But I did, see Question on Notice as just one of the correspondences.

The Minister also recommended in the news release, that recreational boaties should use a boat ramp at Point Vernon, which cannot be used at low tide – so that would not do either.

The recreational boaties can’t use the ramp safely because of silt build up, and the two lane ramp is reduced to one lane – and it’s dangerous.

Cannot imagine my surprise when yesterday at Estimates, this happened;

Mr SORENSEN: For the purpose of clarity around the maintenance program at the boat ramp at Gatakers Bay, on 11 June 2019 a question on notice indicated that TMR does not have any current plans to dredge this location, yet in a media article two weeks after the question was answered it indicates that the facility will be dredged on 3 December with the ramp to be closed for four days. Is this just minor maintenance as well?

Mr BAILEY: We are putting $100 million into marine infrastructure all over the state. We have a very substantial commitment. We know how popular owning a boat and getting out on the water is to people so boat ramps are something I take quite seriously. In terms of this specific boat ramp, I will take that on notice and come back to you specifically. I have just had a note from my chief of staff. Apparently the journalist involved ran an old story and it was dredged last December, I am informed. I hope that is of assistance to you.
It reeks of the old comedy program ‘Yes, Minister’ only without the comedy.

Hervey Bay’s Gatakers boat ramp needs urgent maintenance now.

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