DESPITE receiving an extensive overhaul about five years ago, the boat ramp at in Memorial Drive Karuah has since proved to be a dangerous and often expensive landing for water users due to the speed and conditions of run out tides.
Frequent problems encountered during run-out tide conditions include vessels being damaged as they are pushed up against the floating pontoon on the Eastern side of the ramp facility, and has even resulted in a couple of injuries with people being stuck between vessels and the pontoon and gangway.
Commodore of Karuah Motor Yacht Club, Ken Baker told News Of The Area, “Enough is enough. People are getting hurt, boats are being damaged and due to this the town are seeing many tourism dollars just simply turning around and heading back out towards Port Stephens due to not only the lack of, but the type of facilities here.”
“The Karuah Motor Yacht Club has so much to offer for visiting maritime enthusiasts, as does the entire Karuah township,” Mr Baker said.
“But to keep them coming back safely we need to address the situation of the ramp and the issues with the run out tide now.” he said.
A meeting called by Ken Baker also included Ms Kate Washington MP, Port Stephens Council staff members Brendon Callander and Ian Gilkes, Ross Parr from Karuah RSL Club, members of the KMYC and commercial fisherman.
The meeting was held on Tuesday morning the 7 June.
Both Brendon and Ian from Port Stephens Council acknowledged the concerns the 20 people attending had and gave a clear insight of the possibilities that could occur with fresh input from key stakeholders.
Speaking to those present Brendon Callander from Port Stephens Council acknowledged there were some funds set aside for continued work at the site and area, that included sealing the current dirt road at the end of Memorial Drive and along to where the waterfront meets Bundabah Street.
“Lighting will also be included within the scope of works and within the budget we have to work with,” Mr Callander said.
Council appear positive of taking on users requirements of the facility allowing for the often difficult conditions to be addressed and hopefully alleviated within the budget given for the works.
Ms Kate Washington MP said, “It’s fantastic that the community can have such valuable input into what is really required here. Council are here listening to so many concerns and it’s pleasing to know that further communication between all parties will occur for a positive outcome.”
Council staff were addressed and shown by members of Karuah Motor Yacht Club and Commercial users briefly of exactly what was required to suit all users, and follow up meetings have been scheduled for the future.