Sunday Times Column
Plans to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp
- Published: Monday, 13 November 2017 14:32
Recfishwest, the peak body for recreational fishing in WA, has hit out at plans to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp.
For many years this ramp has provided important access to the waters off this area, not just for anglers but also for marine rescue groups.
However, the , the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) recently announced it was considering closing the ramp, citing safety concerns.
This has angered many sections of the local community and resulted in a large public rally being held at the ramp last month.
Recfishwest operations manager Leyland Campbell said the peak body had written to the Environment Minister urging him to reconsider the decision.
He said Recfishwest was disappointed other options were not being considered and will advocate to have the ramp remain open.
"The Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions claim this ramp doesn’t meet Australian Standards (exposure to waves greater than 20cm) however the standards they are choosing to apply are for boat ramps within marinas, not oceanic ramps," he said.
"If the government applied this standard to all oceanic boat ramps in Western Australia then over 90 per cent of these ramps would be closed.
"This is simply not acceptable and cannot go unchallenged."
He said it was up to boat owners to assess and accept any risk associated with launching at Canal Rocks.
Local fisher Glenn Wakelam can’t believe the ramp is being considered for closure.
"This is such a popular ramp during the summer months – on a nice day it is not unusual to find over 20 trailers in the carpark," he said.
"Canal Rocks boat ramp has been used by the public for decades and the wave height has not changed over that time."
"People aren’t stupid, if the swell is too big, they don’t use the ramp."