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Burrum Heads ramp fight reaches boiling point

An artist's representation of the sites.
An artist's representation of the sites. Fraser Coast Chronicle / Centro

THOSE against the proposed $5.7 million Burrum Heads boat ramp say it will devastate the seaside community's last good swimming beach.

Protestors claim the wider community's interests are being ignored for a minority group - boaties.

The common question those against the proposal have asked is why a community, population 1737 at the 2011 Census, needs another ramp when it already has two working sites that could be improved.

Part-time Burrum Heads resident Nicole Murphie said the town did not need a four-lane ramp, particularly if parking was 300m from the launch point.

"We visit Burrum Heads on weekends, and usually long weekends at that," Ms Murphie said.

"It would be fair to presume this is when the existing ramps are at their busiest - Easter aside.

"We have never waited more than a few minutes to launch our boat, and have never had to park more than 120m from the ramp."

Burrum Heads homeowner Craig Singleton said the Lions Spit proposal was illogical.

"Burrum Heads only requires three lanes, including the Burrum Heads Rd ramp - which Department of Transport and Main Roads has advised it is retaining - and that the most economical and common sense approach is to enhance the existing ramp at Ross St."

Ms Murphie said she had not had problems launching a boat at either of the current sites due to strong currents, however, said she would be supportive of tie-up facilities being added to both.

"The progress association has been pushing for this new ramp for 20 years, but unfortunately that is not a good enough reason to build a poorly designed ramp and it is certainly not a good enough reason for such a gross waste of taxpayer and ratepayer dollars," she said.

Both protesters called for more community consultation.

Well-being of boates is key

SUPPORTERS claim safety must come first, that scientific evidence decided the location, and that the new Burrum Heads Boat Ramp must be built at the Lions Spit.

"The main reason for the change is because of safety, safety has always been the big priority," Burrum Heads Progress Association president Ron Gregson said.

"Studies have been undertaken and the proposed site in this sand spit area has been scientifically proven to be the only safe spot available to us."

He said safety aside, anyone arguing for the improvement of current ramps as a solution was not considering all the problems.

"For the people that have suggested that the two existing ramps be improved, where do they propose to put the parking area?" Mr Gregson said.

"Because the only alternative at the Ross St ramp is to resume a minimum of five properties to comply with government parking guidelines.

"And they would have to resume a minimum of three properties at the Burrum Heads Rd boat ramp."

He said scientific data also reinforced that the beach near the Lions Spit would improve once the proposed ramp was built.

The Burrum District Chamber of Commerce has also previously thrown its support behind the project.

Do you support building a new boat ramp at Lions Spit in Burrum Heads?

This poll ended on 30 June 2013.

Yes - 65%

No - 34%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  anne maddern, burrum heads, burrum heads boat ramp, fraser coast regional council




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