City of Melville pleads for patience after Point Walter boat ramp closure

City of Melville pleads for patience after Point Walter boat ramp closure

THE City of Melville is asking the public to be patient after the boat ramps at Point Walter were closed in December.

A number of people complained in the Melville City Chat after the main eastern ramp and a secondary western ramp were shut down.

The main ramp is being upgraded with construction to be completed by late February while the secondary ramp has been closed permanently.

City of Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman said a number of factors had impacted project timing, including the fact that a large portion of the revetment works are best suited to being completed during summer weather conditions and tides.

“The timing of funding allocation from the Department of Transport’s Recreational Facilities Boating Facilities Scheme, and approvals required from State agencies also impacted the works schedule,” he said.

“We acknowledge the timing of the three month closure is the worst time for boaties, but the payback of this major upgrade will be a new boat ramp and finger jetty that will be a vast improvement on the previous boat ramp, like the recently upgraded Deep Water Point boat ramp that was completed in time for the busy summer season is proving to be.”

Mr Tieleman said the City had signage located on-site at the Point Walter eastern boat ramp for some time advising of the December 1 along with a media release, social media and webpage updates.

“The City also liaised with Marine Safety, Department of Transport who promoted the closure via their social media, website and newsletter outlets,” he said.

“Unfortunately with the closure of the eastern boat ramp, the old western ramp, which has not been used for boat launching for a number of years except occasionally by jet skis, canoes and the odd dinghy, was used again by the public to launch boats of all sizes, presenting a number of new safety concerns to the City.

“The safety issues are partially due to the poor condition of the old western ramp, with a number of large cracks and holes on the deck and no kick plates down the side of the ramp to keep trailers from skewing off the ramp.

“The very shallow waters at the end of the old ramp also means that to reach deeper waters, boats must navigate close to the shore towards the eastern ramp to then exit out through a narrow channel, and with the works progressing at the eastern boat ramp, a silt curtain now extends around the area presenting an additional navigation hazard.”