How a boat ramp will save Bell Park

AN expert Commonwealth scientist says a breakwater 400 metres offshore as part of a proposed Fisherman's Beach boat ramp would save Bell Park from going under seawater in 30 years time.

Despite this information, the quiet seaside town of Emu Park remains split over the call for the boat ramp to constructed at Emu Park, instead of a second suggested location out of town at Ritamada, near Kinka Beach.

About 200 people flocked to the Emu Park Cultural Centre in Hill Street on Monday night for a public meeting to discuss the longstanding issue of where to place a much needed extra boat ramp for the Capricorn Coast.



Proposed Emu Park boat ramp Option 1: Fisherman's Beach Photo: Department of Transport and Main Roads
Proposed Emu Park boat ramp Option 1: Fisherman's Beach Photo: Department of Transport and Main Roads



For more than a decade there have been calls for another all-tide, bluewater access ramp on the coast to take the pressure off the facilities at Yeppoon's Rosslyn Bay.

So it's far from a new issue and these types of public forums have been held many times before.

The latest renewal comes on the back of a fishing community backlash to the removal of two floating pontoons at Rosslyn Bay - a matter which has since been resolved.

Boat ramp campaigner Michael Griffin said the forum received a very comprehensive presentation from Dr Trevor Graham - a semi-retired research scientist who worked on a national coastal geology program for 13 years and adjunct professor with the University of Queensland (2012-2018).

Mr Griffin said Dr Graham outlined how Fisherman's Beach, like many similar cases, was showing signs of significant erosion with mature trees being undermined by tidal influence and now lay on beaches.

"The eastern end of Fisherman's Beach is suffering erosion and recent placement of rocks to halt this progression has been futile," Mr Griffin said.

Fellow boat ramp campaigner Clive King said Dr Graham explained that putting a breakwater 400m offshore would disrupt the wave patterns that were causing the erosion on Fisherman's Beach.

He said the expert explained sea levels were rising at one millimetre per year, but in 30 years time it would be three to four centimetres per year and if nothing was done to stop the erosion at Emu Park, Bell Park would be under sea water, along with other low lying areas of the town.

"Dr Graham said the answer to this problem was a Fisherman's Beach boat ramp with breakwater," Mr King said.

Many who attended the public forum say the community's stance on the boat ramp had not changed since the Transport and Main Roads department conducted a survey in 2016 with half at the meeting this week being for the Fisherman's Beach proposal and the others against.

Mr King said there was no vote taken on Monday night, while Mr Griffin said there was an overall consensus the current boating facilities on the Capricorn Coast were insufficient to meet the needs of the region's 10,000 boaties.

A Facebook post by the No Boat Ramp in Emu Park Town Centre Inc following the meeting told a different story - they felt the consensus at the two-hour long meeting was that a boat ramp at Fisherman's Beach was not wanted.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga, Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig, Livingstone councillors Glenda Mather, Pat Eastwood and Adam Belot along with One Nation Party candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery attended the meeting.