THE Futurefish Foundation has slammed the standard of Mornington Peninsula’s boat ramps as a shambles.
And it has called on the major political parties to remove the management of boat ramps away from the Mornington Peninsula Shire, as well as the multitude of committees of management, which “claim to look after the smaller boat ramps”. The foundation says it is “time for the management of all the peninsula’s boat ramps to be brought under one single boat ramp authority”.
Futurefish Foundation director David Kramer came out swinging last week, saying: “It is a joke having the Rye boat ramp under reconstruction while Tootgarook and Tyrone ramps are inoperable, leaving no launching facilities between Safety Beach and Sorrento.
“It is hard to understand how this situation can be occurring in mid-November’s prime time snapper season.”
Mr Kramer, who also hosts the Channel 31 TV show Talking Fishing, was joined live on air by Premier Daniel Andrews who chose the fishing show as his only “live” television appearance in the state election campaign.
He announced on air that if Labor was re-elected he would create a stand-alone boat ramp authority. He also promised to abolish boat ramp launching and parking fees on the Mornington Peninsula.
Mr Kramer told panellists on the show: “It astounds us that the Mornington Peninsula Shire is reconstructing Rye boat ramp during November and [yet] didn’t call on the Capel Sound or Whitecliffs-to-Camerons-Bight committees of management to have their nearby boat ramps ready to take the increased traffic while the Rye boat ramp was out of operation”.
“With the Tootgarook boat ramp closed for dredging that should have been done months ago. And the Tyrone boat ramp, which the local committee-of-management has neglected to maintain for several years now, is also inoperable.
“This is an absolute disgrace and a total disrespect for boat owners that the Mornington Peninsula’s ramps are in this situation.”
The Futurefish Foundation boss said it was “most excited that Daniel Andrews will pull the Mornington Peninsula’s boat ramps away from the shire and the committees and get the ramps open, maintained and fully operational, for the thousands of boat owners who use these facilities”.
Daniel Andrews’ spokesperson Chris Piper later confirmed a re-elected state Labor government would “review the management of boating infrastructure in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port”.
“This work will be done in direct consultation with recreational fishing and boating stakeholders with a view to establishing a dedicated boating infrastructure authority,” he said.
“We will also abolish all boat ramp parking and launching fees as part of our plan to reform boat ramp management in Port Phillip Bay and Western Port.”
The mayor Cr David Gill asked the Future Fish Foundation “why it thought the state government was capable of doing a better job” in managing the boat ramps.
“It’s much harder to get money out of them and DELWP (the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) is the worst department to get in contact with.”
Cr Gill agreed the shire should make an effort to be better coordinated with other bodies, such as the various committees-of-management. “If this is what has happened we should have done better,” he said.
“These sorts of things annoy everybody.”