Eurobodalla residents are being asked to share their thoughts and ideas about the shire’s Council-owned marine facilities.
A survey being conducted by invites waterway users to rate their satisfaction with boat ramps, jetties, pontoons, wharves, fishing platforms, fish cleaning tables and boat engine flush facilities, and to make suggestions for improvements. For some time Max Castle, representing Recreational Fishers on the South Coast, has lobbied the Council, bringing to their notice that the boating/fishing facilities in Eurobodalla need upgrading Max told the Beagle "to date Council think they are fairly good and they don't get many complaints and continue to state they are "committed to further improving boating and fishing facilities within Eurobodalla on a priority and evidenced needs basis." "At a council presentation last year I pointed out my desk top survey I presented (members in the gallery) which clearly indicated that some $3m was collected annually by both Maritime and Fisheries from licences, fees, registrations, boating licences and the like with only about $300,000 being spent by Council annually from available grants. I also raised the same issue with Andrew Constance."
"The program Council develop for recreational facilities/ improvements (ROSS) each year does not include the need of boaters and fishers!!"
"We need a far better financial return from the Trust Funds we pay into for this type of work - As Council is the Land Manager they have the final say on applying for funds and if we get the asset at all".
"Our local boating jetty in Tuross is a good example where Council would not contribute 50% towards replacement so it was necessary to explore other options. In addition to the local lobbying the Recreational Fishing Association (RFA) has been lobbying at a higher level and the issue is at Ministerial level still waiting a NSW State decision.
Max advises those completing the Council survey "Don't forget to mention sand removal, channel sand removal ,shallow bars, insufficient navigational channel clearing, and other important boating need you identify."
"This is a numbers game - PLEASE offer your comments on the Council survey! This is our big chance for community involvement! If we say nothing we get nothing!"
In Council's media release Infrastructure Services director Warren Sharpe says "Council knows boating and fishing activities are important to residents and visitors, so we want to make sure our facilities are ship-shape and cater for the inevitable increase in demand.”
“The information we gather from the survey will help us develop a new asset management plan to identify and prioritise marine infrastructure improvements, renewals and maintenance for the next 10 years,” Mr Sharpe said.
“The plan will also provide crucial support for grant funding applications.”
“We’re keen to draw on the knowledge and experience of our waterway users to help us develop a plan that truly reflects the needs of our community in an affordable way.”
The survey has been timed to reach as many residents and visitors as possible during school holidays, and there are temporary signs at marine facilities around the Eurobodalla encouraging participation.
Find the survey at http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/haveyoursay and hard copies at the shire’s libraries.
The survey is open until Monday 21 October, 2019.