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Boat ramp under attack
Boat ramp under attack

The viability of the refurbished Abbey boat ramp has been called into question by residents who believe regular clean-up efforts required at the site are a drain on ratepayers.

Resident Peter McLean said he and other locals were unhappy with the design of the facility, pointing to its susceptibility to inundation by weeds and sand.

He said they had seen a front-end loader removing the build-up three times since Christmas.

Mr McLean said this was ridiculous considering it was not needed as often at similar boat ramps in the region.

“The finger jetty is a great idea, it’s just not done right — (it’s) too low, ” he said.

“The rocks … are probably about 10m too far down in the water. When any weed gets in there it gets trapped, it can’t get out.

“What people are concerned about is what’s gone on at the other end of Busselton (seagrass at Port Geographe).

“It’s obviously not on the same scale but it’s already had problems and the thing hasn’t been in use for even a month.

“The rocks need to be removed so the beach shoreline can work in its natural way … the tide will do its job.”

The Abbey boat ramp, while in existence for years, was recently upgraded through Royalties for Regions funding to increase capacity, functionality and parking availability.

City engineering and works services director Oliver Darby said eight maintenance and clean-up requests relating to, or near, the ramp had been carried out since the start of the year and he had responded to the only direct correspondence received, an email, on January 11.

He attributed the recent unseasonal build-up of sand and seagrass to northerly winds and insisted ongoing maintenance was an “inevitable requirement” of any infrastructure throughout the City and would remain common practice.

Mr Darby said expenditure so far was “within budget restraints” and added feedback on all upgraded ramps, including at Abbey, had been very positive.

“This boat ramp is one of the most popular launching facilities in the City, ” he said.

“If the community wishes to retain it, there are maintenance costs involved, all of which have been factored into our annual works program.”