Local, Politics

State Govt promises $10m for boat ramp.

Coffs Harbour City Council accuses Andrew Fraser of being “ignorant of the facts.”

The State Government has announced a $10-million upgrade the the troublesome Coffs Harbour boat-ramp.

“This is not an election commitment, it’s money in the bank,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro (pictured at the ramp yesterday, below) said.

It follows the presentation to State parliament last year of a petition of more than 12-thousand signatures calling for the boat-ramp to be fixed.

The above is from the ABC Coffs Coast Facebook page – Thursday February 7 2019.

See: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=ABC Coffs Coast

Claims about previous spending on the ramp by retiring Coffs Harbour member Andrew Fraser have been denied by the Coffs Harbour City Council in the press release below;

“Repeated claims by retiring State Member Andrew Fraser that Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) diverted funds intended for improvements at the boat ramp in order to fund roadworks along Jordan Esplanade are completely incorrect.

In 2014 Council successfully applied for a $1m NSW Government Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) grant to improve conditions at the boat ramp (pictured below). Using those funds, Council engaged the expertise of the NSW Government’s own Manly Hydraulics Laboratory (MHL) which studied the issues at the boat ramp and concluded that extending the boat ramp basin and breakwater would help cut wave surge. The engineering works required were then designed by the NSW Government’s own Department of Public Works.

The Coffs Harbour boat ramp

With the remaining funds Council then built the design which required moving a small section of Jordan Esplanade and the construction of a large extension of the boat ramp basin and small extension of the breakwater.

During the construction of the boat ramp project, Council also upgraded an extensive length of Jordan Esplanade from Camperdown Street to the NSW Public Works compound on Corrambirra Point using $250,000 accrued by Council’s 2014/2015 Special Rate Variation.

“Mr Fraser appears to be ignorant of the facts,” said Council’s General Manager Steve McGrath.

“He has previously claimed in Parliament that Council had ignored advice from the NSW Department of Public Works on the design of the boat ramp improvements and had instead used “a hydraulics laboratory in Manly”.

“In fact, we used a design by the NSW Government’s Department of Public Works, which was based on a concept developed by the NSW Government’s very own specialist laboratory (MHL). The laboratory was established by the then NSW Department of Public Works in 1944 and is now a business unit within the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

“Mr Fraser doesn’t seem to be aware that both the laboratory and the NSW Department of Public Works belong to his own government.

“The real issue when it comes to the boat ramp is the massive amount of sand infill caused by the poor design of the harbour as a whole. But Council cannot undertake dredging of the wider harbour as it belongs to the NSW Government’s Crown Lands. That is another fact that Mr Fraser appears to be continually willing to ignore.”

The above is a CHCC Press release – Thursday 7 February 2019.

See: https://www.news.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/2019/02/07/andrew-fraser-ignorant-of-facts-over-boat-ramp-claims/

One Comment

  1. Archie Black

    This is blatant pork barrelling; nothing less.
    To hand over $10 million for a boat ramp facility that will benefit, how many people ? I venture, less than 1000 of the Coffs Coast community.
    No doubt it will be welcomed by the “hunter gathers”, who have ben able to invest many thousands of dollars into their boats to go and catch a fish.The rest of us, can sit and watch them come and go at a facility that we all have paid for.
    But in the scheme of things what is the percentage of people from this region who will benefit from this generous hand out to the fisher people ? I suggest a very few.
    $10 million will buy a lot of infrastructure that the Coffs Coast is sadly lacking. It would buy quite a sizeable amount of housing for the homeless and struggling families who have problems every day putting food on the table. It would help many kids have the schooling they deserve and need.It would add to the health facilities we need every day to grow with the population increasing as it is.
    But thanks to a noisy minority, who can only see what it is in it for them, they will get their boat ramp without spending a cent.
    At the very least it should be user payers system with a fee per launch of any vessel using a ETag type of payment.
    While toilets may be included, there is no way that $10 million can be justified for a small number of privileged boat owners who will still each time they use it, have the facility at no cost, while the tax payer will always be picking up the tab for maintenance and upkeep.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*