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Geraldton Mayor criticises Drummond Cove boat ramp proposal

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn has dismissed a proposal by Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney to build a boat ramp at Drummond Cove.

Mr Blayney wrote to Premier Mark McGowan late last month requesting that Royalties for Regions funds be considered for the ramp’s construction.

“Having a boat ramp at Drummond’s would enable tourists going north to stop and enjoy Geraldton just a little longer,” he said.

“Small businesses that provide products targeted at recreational fishers and boaters will certainly get some more customers, especially if tourism in Geraldton continues to rise.”

Mr Van Styn said the State Government’s Coastal Hazard Risk Management Adaptation Planning Report must be released before any further marine infrastructure was even considered.

“Decisions about throwing rocks into the sea or building boat ramps are exactly the type of decisions that got us into the mess we are in with coastal erosion today,” he said.

“The CHRMAP process is coming to a conclusion — let’s see what that looks like in July before we go madly about trying to throw more rocks into the sea.”

Mr Blayney said he had received feedback from Drummond Cove residents indicating they supported the proposal, but he had no intention of pushing for the ramp’s construction before the report was released.

“I’m just putting my hand up and saying that it’s what the community up there have communicated with me,” he said.

“When the engineers start coming up with engineering solutions, it’s possible that (the ramp) may be able to be incorporated into whatever they suggest. If it can be incorporated into that work, obviously it’s something worth doing.”

Mr Blayney said the ramp would help raise Geraldton’s tourism profile.

But Mr Van Styn dismissed that notion and pointed out Geraldton was already well equipped with two boat ramps.

“Tourists will not be more likely to come to Geraldton because there’s a boat ramp 10 minutes north of the existing boat ramp, which is itself five minutes north of another boat ramp in town,” he said.

Mr Van Styn said Drummond Cove residents were divided on the issue.

“There is significant opposition to the boat ramp in Drummond’s, particularly from residents, whose houses would then be backing onto a boat ramp carpark,” he said.

Drummond Cove Progress Association president Gavin Hirschhausen said there were mixed opinions within the association but the group was committed to working with the City.

“The progress association does not have a preferred option, we just want the City and the State Government to consider what is in the best interest of the whole community,” he said

“If they’re going to be spending millions of dollars (fighting erosion), then a boat ramp might be a viable solution to improve the amenity as well as mitigate the risk of further erosion.”

Mr Hirschhausen said there were multiple locations suitable for a boat ramp in Drummond Cove, so it remained to be seen whether a car park would negatively impact residents.

“Assuming that people are going to have car parks in front of their houses is probably a bit premature,” he said.

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