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  • Renee Cluff

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    Cairns Regional Council agrees to help fund controversial Yorkeys Knob boat ramp

    Cairns Regional Council has agreed to contribute $3.5 million to construction of a controversial boat ramp at Yorkeys Knob.

    The $11 million State Government project includes a six lane boat ramp with two floating walkways, two new breakwaters, parking, toilets and washdown facilities.

    It will be built on State-owned land west of the existing marina breakwater with an access road on land between Yorkeys Knob Boat Club and Half Moon Bay Golf Club.

    The Yorkeys Knob Boat Ramp Action Group, made up of the two existing clubs and local residents is opposing the project over concerns it will create traffic congestion, reduce coastal vegetation and impact sand movement.

    Chairman Adrian Gover, who lives 200 metres from the site told Tropic Now the Council’s decision was expected.

    “It’s not surprising given the bullying tactics of TMR but it is disappointing,” he said.

    “They’ve completely steamrolled us and it’s disgusting, arrogant and insulting for the State Government to push this.”

    “We’ve had no consultation from TMR or the local state member and once it’s lost, it’s lost,” he said.

    Mr Gover said the group will now be seeking legal advice before deciding its next step.

    In his report, Council’s General Manager of Infrastructure Services Bruce Gardiner said the department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) had followed through on Council’s request to investigate other sites in Half Moon Creek as well as on Redden Island, at Trinity Park and along the Barron River.

    “TMR have advised that they have researched possible alternate locations for additional boat ramps north of the CBD but have concluded that the current proposed location at Yorkeys Knob is preferred over others based on environmental, cost, constructability and land tenure issues,” he said.

    The Council funding will cover two thirds of the cost of construction of the breakwater on the northern side of Half Moon Creek, which is expected to reduce ongoing dredging costs.

    TMR will pay the remainder and contribute funding towards dredging maintenance.

    A detailed design is now being put together by TMR and if approved, construction is scheduled to begin next year.