A City of Melville sign at Deep Water Point incorrectly states the boat ramp is due for upgrade by the end of the year.
However, earlier this month the City pushed the expected delivery date back to late 2019 as part of an announcement about extensive upgrades to the area, which also includes foreshore restoration, a new Dome café, change rooms and a new playground.
Mr Roche said he regarded the popular boat ramp, located near one of the main water ski areas on the Swan River, as the busiest and most dangerous in Perth.
“It is very difficult to retrieve your boat at that ramp without someone standing chest deep in the water trying to hold it steady as it gets winched on to the trailer,” Mr Roche said.
“It’s easy to slip and fall over and the usual cross current and wind in that area, coupled with the wake from other boats in the water, makes retrieval more difficult and places those assisting in danger. I’ve witnessed a number of serious incidents at the ramp. I have even witnessed a ute become totally submerged while trying to retrieve a boat resulting in it having to be removed by a crane.”
Melville acting chief executive Marten Tieleman said the original timeline for the boat ramp upgrade, which received $700,000 in State Government grants last month, had been underestimated.
“The intention was to apply for additional funding in the next Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme round of applications to complete the car park upgrade,” he said.
“Both facilities could therefore be upgraded at the same time, to reduce disruption to the site. The City has since determined it may be more successful in securing funding to upgrade both the Point Walter and Deep Water Point boat ramps, and has therefore rescheduled the construction date of the Deep Water Point boat ramp to July 2018.”
Mr Roche said he refused to use the ramp in its current state and would rather drive all the way to Crawley or East Fremantle to launch his boat to avoid putting his family at risk of a dangerous retrieval.
“I think the delay is a disgrace and a huge let down to the boating community,” he said.
“Deep Water Point needs an upgraded boat ramp before it needs a Dome Café or a new playground for that matter.”