Locals fed up with dangers of boat ramp as MP pledges fix
WOODGATE community members and users of the Walkers Point Boat Ramp are fed up with the lack of safety they endure every time they try to get a boat in or out of the water.
A group of concerned locals gathered at the ramp today to air their concerns.
Peter Trott has been campaigning to have the ramp upgraded and says he contacted Burnett MP Stephen Bennett 18 months ago because he was fed up.
"We've been pushing for something to be done for quite a while," he said.
Mr Trott said he owned a house in Woodgate and felt local retirees and tourists were being let down with boats and trailers suffering damage from the difficult tidal flow.
Mr Bennett yesterday pledged $200,000 to improve the boat ramp if the LNP is elected in Queensland.
"It would mean a safe place to launch and retrieve boats, which we don't have at the moment," Mr Trott said.
"I don't know exactly what's needed, but possibly a rock wall and maybe down the track a pontoon."
Some locals at the site discussed issues they'd had including boats flipping over the top of them.
According to information compiled by locals, a fix for the boat ramp would include provision of a rock barrier to mitigate currents and a floating pontoon to facilitate safe access.
"The outcome would be safe ramp launch and retrieval for boats large and small, facilitating access to the surrounding fishing grounds for the communities of Woodgate and Walkers
Point, similar to other towns in the area," the document reads.
"Improved tourism, amenity and local economy would naturally follow. This will open up safe boating access for all ages and types of people."
Mr Bennett said he believed it was important to improve safety and access.
"Our local anglers are often put in a very dangerous situation at the Walkers Point boat ramp due to the tide and current," he said.
"The tide runs at a rate of knots over the ramp and on most days it's near impossible to get boats safely on and off trailers, especially on your own.
"It was recommended as a top priority boat ramp for works in the GHD report for the Bundaberg Regional Council back in 2017 and I look forward to working with the local government in the future to deliver this project."
Locals also say the boat ramp provides a pathway on the water to Burrum Heads, which is of use during bushfires and say a refurbished ramp will improve tourism, benefiting local groups and businesses.