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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Ringlands Jetty upgrade sought

During the December 13th, 2016 Council meeting Councillor Phil Constable received advice pertaining to his Questions on Notice regarding the Jetty at Ringlands Point.

He had asked the following questions on notice

1.Is this jetty an asset of Council?

2. What measures are in place to repair and restore the Ringlands Point jetty; including a

projected timeframe for the completion of the necessary works? He was advised that: The Ringlands Point Jetty is one of the two remaining public jetties in the Wagonga Inlet to the west of the Narooma Bridge.The jetty has provided access from the shore into a deeper water of the Wagonga broadwater. It has a long history of use by tourist and locals alike delivering a different fishing opportunity to that from shore based casting. The fishing platform’s reputation as a favourable squid and flathead catching prospect is well known. The jetty enhances the adjacent public recreation space of Ringlands Point. It has afforded vessels access to mooring facilities for a shore excursion onto a popular picnic spot. The current condition of the jetty has dramatically reduced the amenity of this public space.Historically there were as many as seven such jetties around the Wagonga Inlet providing similar recreational opportunities as identified here; now there are but two. Only one in a serviceable condition. Council took over the lease of the Ringlands Jetty at Narooma in 1953. The jetty was rebuilt in 1988 by local fishermen. In 2004 Council replaced two piles, and at this point in time the jetty was in a serviceable condition. Deterioration to the jetty due to age and storm activity has since seen thejetty fall into disrepair, and the jetty was closed in 2013. Council holds Permissive Occupancy 1954/60 LIC308385 over the jetty with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) –Crown Lands. This license has been retained to allow the possibility of using the site for an approved purpose (subject to community consultation, budget availability and being able to obtain the necessary marine permits). Due to safety concerns arising from the poor condition of the jetty, in mid-April 2013 the walkway to the jetty was removed, and the track down the hill was barricaded off. Prior to this, planks had already been removed and a barricade erected to deter use.After receiving an offer from Boats Afloat Narooma for community support to repair the jetty in July 2013,which Council was supportive of, Council applied to Department of Primary Industry –Batemans Marine Park for a Marine Parks Permit to reconstruct the Ringlands Jetty. The site of the jetty is within the Batemans Marine Park and is zoned habitat protection under the Batemans Marine Park zoning plan. After considering the permit submitted by Council, the accompanying Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and a site inspection on 12 September 2013, DPI –Marine Parks did not support granting a permit for a replacement structure in the current form. Reasons provided to Council included the adverse impact on marine habitat, specifically the seagrass beds where the jetty is located.Council withdrew the permit application on 25 September 2013 and was unable to proceed due to a lack of funds. Any future permit sought by Council to reconstruct the jetty would need to meet a number of stringent design and construction requirements, including the use of open mesh decking rather than timber decking and alternate piling systems, with a view to minimizing impacts on the seagrass beds. In October 2013, following a notification from a member of the public that people were continuing to use the wharf despite previous works and orange warning tape being placed around the area, Customer Service Request (CSR) 121852 was raised to have a sign erected to indicate to the public to remain off the jetty. There is currently no budget allocation to reconstruct the jetty. Should Council wish to have this matter revisited, a detailed design and review of environmental factors (including analysis of shading of the sea grass) would need to be prepared to support a new application to DPI - Marine Parks Authority for a permit to rebuild the structure. Prior to this occurring Council should re-establish the potential for this structure to be approved within the Marine Park through discussion with the Marine Park Authority. The site does have a number of challenges including no supporting toilet facilities, lack of a formed access road to the point and lack of accessibility due to the steep grade down to the water’s edge. Road access to the site is via the Ringlands rural residential subdivision as shown on the aerial photo below.

The following recommendations of the report were adopted:

. 1. The response to the question regarding Ringlands Point Jetty, raised by Councillor Constable be received and noted. 2. Council pursue grant funds under the current program to re-establish the jetty at Ringlands Point in accordance with Department of Primary Industry – Marine Park construction requirements. 3. A report on the application and correspondence with the regulatory authorities involved be provided to Council at the next meeting.

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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