Camperdown Chronicle
Boating Vic CEO inspects issues

A FULL redevelopment of the main boat ramp at Lake Bullen Merri’s South Beach was flagged at an on-site meeting with Better Boating Victoria’s new chief executive officer this week.

Six days into the job, Gary Gaffney toured the facility along with the organisation’s director Katherine Grech and communications adviser Charley May.

South Beach Committee of Management member Peter Place said it was a chance to highlight ongoing problems at the boat ramp.

“We’ve struggled to maintain the ramp for years because the lake’s water level is receding at such a rapid pace,” Mr Place said.

“In recent years we have used concrete sleepers to extend the ramp further into the water, but the wave action continually undermines them and sand builds up in the shallows.

“We’re just not getting anywhere.

“As a result, there are serious problems with boats getting in and out of the water and there have been reports of boats and trailers being damaged.”

Mr Place said a complete change of design was needed.

“We can’t just keep doing what we’ve been doing – it’s only ever been a bandaid solution at best and it’s just not working,” he said.

“We need to survey just what the lay of the land is under the water – where the deep points and drop-offs are.

“Then we can work towards designing something better that will last into the long-term.”

Mr Gaffney said he now had a greater understanding of the issues associated with the boat ramp.

“It certainly helps to see the issues firsthand,” he said.

“As Better Boating Victoria is a newly formed organisation, we are still getting established.

“The issues we’ve seen here today are very evident and will be taken on board for further consideration.”

Better Boating Victoria was formed as an arm of the Department of Transport in March this year to oversee a program of reforms.

The organisation will use money raised through boat registrations and marine licensing fees exclusively to improve boating facilities and safety.

Mr Gaffney said Better Boating Victoria would oversee a review of the management of boating infrastructure arrangements over the coming year.