Max Castle, the Vice president of the Recreational Fishing Alliance shared his views on the intended removal of the Clyde Street boat ramp in the draft Batemans Bay Foreshore Plan that is now out on Public exhibition. Max told The Beagle "A recent visit to Batemans Bay revealed that local businesses had no idea that time is running out for comments on the Foreshore Plan which indicates removal of the Lions Park boat ramp! Businesses approached were very upset that again they were not in the loop! They do not have time to follow Councils web site and they believe a public exhibition notice in the paper is not communication".
"A walk along the foreshore revealed many empty shops but not one had been established as an information centre for the community or regular tourists to be informed about the new Foreshore Plan.
"Again, what the community is seeing is NOTHING new being done to support or improve
boating infrastructure or at the very least, retaining the existing".
"Our local member Andrew Constance MP recently admitted that the boating grants made
available from his Department is not working and “work is needed” to address this issue". Max asks "Who pays and maintains boating infrastructure continues to be a dog’s breakfast between State and Local Council. Surely this can’t continue. What are our boating licences and boat registrations paying for and when will a solution be provided?"
"The President of the Narooma Sport and Gamefishing Club, Les Waldock, is bemused and very disappointed again with the lack of support being received from Council for the local boating facilities considering recreational boating and fishing is the Region’s biggest tourist attraction. He is calling for a roundtable meeting with the Mayor ASAP. Enough is enough!
"The recently release Batemans Foreshore Plan indicates more park area with the
boat ramp REMOVED. Last Sunday was a lovely warm sunny day with no winds what so ever. No picnic lovers with their blankets were to be found, as suggested in the Foreshore Plan! There is plenty of park area proposed opposite the shops for people to picnic on rugs if that is their choice. That is where the activities , entertainment, displays, art, exhibitions, school presentations and similar will be located .... not on the western side of the new bridge! These activities will provide a close physical link to the business sector." Max said "Recent advice indicated only 7 people commented about the boat ramp when the Foreshore Plan was initially released! These comments possible came from people who don’t like the boat ramp activity close to where they chose to live or perhaps don’t understanding that a park can be located anywhere but a boat ramp needs access to water!
"The initial theme was linking access between the shore and the river! That is exactly what a boat ramp does! A petition has been distributed to at least three shops in the Bay – Harry’s Bait and Tackle, Complete Angler, and Charlie’s Tackle World. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is seeking support from the community and local business to save Lions Park boat ramp. Council have advised that an alternative ramp will not be provided', Max concluded. While there is a backlash on the proposed removal of the Clyde Street West boat ramp there are also concerns around to proposed floating pontoon between the bridge and Murra Mia Walkway.
Harry Watson Smith of the Batemans Bay Boaters Association told The Beagle that they have been working for more than two years to enhance the Bay waterfront and turn the focus from the retail space toward the water and the Bay. See the document :” A Game Changer for the Bay CBD” "We understand that last week John Holland was contracted by either Transport for NSW, Crown Lands or Maritime to undertake test drills in the proposed location of the floating pontoons in preparation for the final design and construction of these floating pontoons adjacent to the CBD." "This is a big win for the boaters, fishers and kayakers of the Bay. We may finally get the facilities to activate and access our pristine waterways." "Have and will we be consulted on the design of this marine infrastructure? We doubt it. Will it look like the dogs breakfast of the last design with an on-ramp that will crush an inquisitive child between it and the concrete pontoon?" "There appear to be more questions than communicated answers." "Last week Eurobodalla Shire Council release the BB Draft MasterPlan and Activation Strategy for the waterfront for comment. The plan may be viewed here . You have until 4:30 28 July 2020 to give feedback. "The Association will be highlighting the good ideas and the fundamental flaws in this plan in many more articles over the coming days." "The question is where will you launch your vessel to use these facilities if Council removes the Southern Clyde River boatramp currently west of the bridge?" Harry asks.
Above: Map 2 of draft plan shows the Clyde Street boatramp gone Image source. Harry says "The northern Old Punt Road boatramp is currently closed and is not expected to be enhanced when the bridge is completed so that leaves Hanging Rock boatramp which is the only option. The water component is within the Crown Land Lease managed by some Sydney Developers and conflicts with the proposed Coach House Re-development. The former could close the ramp tomorrow or charge you to launch your vessel."