10 May 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Weipa allocated $3 million for new pontoon at boat ramp

| Cape York Weekly
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WEIPA is in line for a $3 million upgrade to the Evans Landing boat ramp facility after money was found in the budget to deliver the project in full.

Cape York Weekly can reveal the state government has allocated the funds to do the job in one go.

It follows five years of concerns from the community since the boat ramp was opened.

Then in May this year, Member for Cook Cynthia Lui announced it would be fixed, only for it to be later revealed that there wasn’t enough money in the budget to do the job properly.

Following public pressure and a meeting between local boat users and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the government has found the required cash.

Ms Lui, who was due to fly into Weipa today before cancelling her trip, said the new funding would ensure the upgraded pontoon provided weather protection for the nearby boat ramp.

“The community has made it clear that every element of this project needs to be done in one go,” she said.

“I’m glad locals had an opportunity to make their voices heard, and am pleased TMR has listened and made changes to how the project will be delivered.

“The additional funding that’s been secured will allow that to happen, which is a fantastic outcome ahead of works starting before the end of the year.”

The new pontoon will also provide extended wave attenuation to the boat ramp.

The pontoon will provide sheltered berthing space for about five boats and will be suitable for deep-draft vessels and visiting yachts.

Outside berths will still be usable in favourable weather conditions.

Ms Lui said the upgraded facility would address safety concerns raised by recreational and commercial users after it was first installed in 2015.

“Tenders for the design-and-construct contract for the new pontoon based on the original design concept closed on September 15,” she said.

“TMR requested the shortlisted tenderers to quote on the revised design concept from the recent community meeting and these were received on September 23

“Evaluation of the shortlisted tenders is now being finalised and a contract should be awarded in the next few weeks.”

There should be plenty of smiles around town this week, especially from those in the Weipa Marine and Boating Group, who fought hard to get a better facility for the community.

Expect to see the successful contractor make contact with the group to gain some much-needed local insight.

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