No one at helm to control boat ramp

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With Keith Platt

UPKEEP and management of the Mornington Peninsula’s public boat ramps is still a grey area – despite it being six months since the state government announced that it was taking over the role.

The first the shire knew of it came in a surprise pre-election announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews on Channel 31’s Talking Fishing in November.

Since then, the shire has “continued to do the right thing” by checking and maintaining boat ramps to make sure they are safe for the public, the mayor Cr David Gill said.

However, no provision had been made for boat ramps in the shire’s draft 2019/20 budget.

“As far as I’m concerned, we won’t be doing anything more on the boat ramps once the budget is adopted sometime in June,” he said.

The shire’s Director Place Niall McDonagh said the shire was “continuing to fund the maintenance at this stage” but was unsure when that arrangement would end. “This is still to be determined, but the shire is working closely with the state government,” he said.

The shire has stopped processing boat ramp fees, with Mr McDonagh saying it would “await confirmation from the state government before we decommission the paid parking systems”.

“The shire is hopeful the advice in regard to the transition will be received shortly.”

Cr Gill said managing the boat ramps at this time of year was “quite simple, as there are no crowding or ramp rage issues … but there will be later in the year”.

“I’m not sure what the reaction will be from the state [when we stop work at the boat ramps], but the shire’s role is up for negotiation,” he said.

“We want to know how they’re going to protect the public.

“They said they’re going to take over boat ramps and we want them to get on with it.”

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 14 May 2019

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