River Quest service lobbies for access to boat ramp
A BURRUM Heads business operator believes he and his primarily senior customer base will be forced into harm's way if prevented from using the floating walkway at Burrum Heads Boat Ramp.
Burrum River Quest owner Greg Pedemont says he used the floating walkway to load and unload passengers as it was a much safer option than the boat ramp on Ross St.
Mr Pedemont says the Ross St facility is unsafe at high tide, and his passengers have had to descend rocks or the slippery ramp to board his vessel via the small beach.
"There are a lot of elderly passengers who come out on the boat, they need assistance," Mr Pedemont said.
"We had a visitor from the Sunshine Coast with no legs use our vessel, and I had to assist him on the sand. It would be easier on a straight platform like the boat ramp."
Council staff served Mr Pedemont a notice on March 1 to advise his use of the walkway, which is owned by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and managed by Fraser Coast Regional Council, was prohibited.
The matter will come to a head at Wednesday's council meeting at the Burrum District Community Centre, Howard, when his application is considered.
"I'm hoping I can have minimal access to the ramp - my vessel is right out of the way, and only uses minimal time to help passengers disembark," Mr Pedemont said.
Council documents show staff have liaised with Burrum River Quest, TMR, and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, which is the owner of the land on which the facilities occupy.
The floating walkway is not deemed fit for the purpose, and would "expose Council to an unacceptable risk".
TMR says commercial operators are to apply to the manager, who can either reject the application directly or forward to the Department.