In 2013 Council sought community feedback on four options for the Tuross Head Boat Ramp to ensure that the boating and fishing needs of both locals and visitors are catered for. The four options were the result of a community consultation process over the past year and were presented in a consultant's report to council in Septemebr 2013. The then Mayor, Lindsay Brown, said boating and fishing were significant attractions on Tuross Lake and a more permanent, cost-effective solution for the boat ramp needs to be found. "Late last year, council allocated $10,000 to maintain the channel around the boat ramp to make sure it was accessible over summer," said Cr Brown. "The ramp is regularly affected by sand build-up which makes boats difficult to launch." The consultant's report went on exhibition including cost estimates as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each option. The four options outlined the Tuross Head Boat Ramp Investigation Assessment Report were The 4 options presented were as follows; Option A – Upgrading of Existing Ramp (est. $1.4M) Option B – Alternative Site 1 – Community Land adjacent to Lake Street (est. $2.05M) Option C – Alternative Site 2 – Sandy Point (est. $2.35M) Option D – Channel Maintenance at Existing Boat Ramp (est. $15,000 per occurrence) The report stated: The provision of a new boat ramp facility or the upgrading of the existing facility will provide a positive effect for recreational activities for the local and wider community. Fishing and boating is popular at Tuross Lake and any new or upgraded facility will go towards improving social amenity and inclusion. The Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting of Eurobodalla Shire Council held on Tuesday 10 December record a motion being passed that Council: 1.Retain the existing boat ramp at Tuross Head off Nelson Parade; 2.Undertake channel maintenance at the existing Tuross Head boat ramp prior to Christmas 2013 with funding to be identified from savings as part of the December quarterly review; 3.Undertake channel maintenance at the existing Tuross Head boat ramp on an ‘as required basis’ and budget to undertake this once per annum; 4.Undertake further discussions with NSW Fisheries and Marine Parks to identify viable sites for the deposition of dredging sands within the Tuross Lake/Ocean system; 5.Retain the long term option to consider constructing an extra boat ramp with associated parking and other facilities on the reserve off Hector McWilliam Drive (opposite Lake Street); 6.Consider an allocation of funding (against other priorities) for the survey investigation and design of a new ramp and associated facilities when determining the budget across the Delivery Program period. (The Motion on being put was declared CARRIED) At the time many residents considered the projected costings of the options offered as being "gold plated" This reference to "gold plating" was repeated on Monday Nov 21st during a village meeting with Andrew Constance where he advised that quite recently a boatramp was installed at Kiah for $500,000 Council were asked by the community in 2013 when a new ramp might be built once the community agreed on a location. Council repeated time and time again that they had no funding for the ramp and that such a facility would be low on their priority list however what they had achieved was to have consulted with the community. Even the motion passed in December 2013 simply says "Consider an allocation of funding". The siltation of the Tuross boatramp sill exists and will soon require dredging in order to best prepare it for the upcoming summer. The financial consequences to the town of having a below satisfactory or unserviceable boatramp are real and of continued concern. Minister Constance agreed with the suggestions from the gathering that the pereferred option should be openly and transparently coasted and that if staged, could be acheived over several funding years from available State and Federal grants.
The Tuross Head Progress Association will now formally approach Council to come to the table and begin discussions on how it will manage the Tuross Head Boat ramp in preparations for the coming summer and how it intends to assist the Tuross Head community in securing a new ramp on the Community Land adjacent to Lake Street. Below: Andrew Constance, Member for Bega outlining the grants available for such projects as the proposed new boatramp for Tuross Head.