10 May 2023

Frustrated boat users concerned

| Cape York Weekly
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A GROUP of boat users from Weipa were so frustrated about their poor facilities that they formed a new body under the local chamber of commerce.

The Weipa Marine and Boating Group say they have five main points in regards to the current set-up at Evans Landing.

1. Wave attenuation protection for the ramp.

2. Safe facilities to board passengers in all weather situations.

3. Provision of adequate berthing for tenders to both long-term and short-term visitors.

4. Enough room on the ramp for a minimum of three large trailer boats at a time to avoid congestion.

5. A safe place to launch smaller vessels (those unable to drive on/off trailers) – a beach walkway for the western side of the ramp would address this requirement.

In a letter to the Weipa Town Authority, group president Duane Singleton said doing the job properly would benefit the entire community.

“With the town’s tourism industry in tatters from COVID-19 restrictions, completion of the new ramp prior to the 2021 season would provide an excellent incentive via appropriate promotion for tourists to make Weipa their destination next year,” he said.

Mr Singleton said a proposed two-stage project would incur considerable economic consequences, including doubling transportation and installation costs, as well as increased gross production costs of pontoons and piles.

The group also highlighted the potential for a local company to do the works at a reduced rate, highlighting the goodwill of Carpentaria Contracting director Vance Wallin and his eagerness to improve local marine infrastructure.

“We therefore suggest that the tender process should be advertised in two parts – (1) supply of the necessary infrastructure and (2) transport and installation,” Mr Singleton wrote.

“Our advice indicates that this could result in a very significant reduction in economic cost, in part by reducing travel and accommodation costs of out of town workers, thereby allowing the upgraded specifications to be achieved with minimal cost increase.”

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