Anglers call for Torquay boat ramp review
DESCRIBED by members of the Torquay Angling Club as ‘an accident waiting to happen’, the Torquay Boat Ramp remains an unresolved problem for users, despite promises of a solution from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).
Peter Hogart, Fishing Director for the Torquay Angling Club, said club members are unsure of their legal position when using the ramp, as they must reverse across open beach to launch their boats.
“We want to know what we can do in the short term, to stop an accident happening, signage has not worked in the past,” Mr Hogart said.
A key concern of club members is the sand ‘blow’ that regularly buries the ramp, despite efforts by GORCC to clear the sand.
“Every Friday, GORCC is supposed to scrape the sand away to clear the ramp, but it is not working, it hadn’t been happening, but GORCC has recommitted to weekly clearance of the ramp.”
Mr Hogart said the other concern of members was ‘public apathy’, with beachgoers frequently using the ramp as part of the beach.
“Our biggest concern right now is pedestrian safety, the Elephant Walk directs people across a working boat ramp, we know the Elephant Walk and The Salty Dog cafe will remain, so we are looking for a way to manage the interaction.”
With the Torquay ramp a ‘Designated Boating Facility’, Mr Hogart said it is used by the general boating community, not just the angling club.
“This is not ‘our’ boat ramp, there is the Marine Rescue, as well as any boat owner who wants to get on the water, this is where they must come to launch.”
Mr Hogart said population growth and visitor numbers mean the beach will only be busier in future, and all users need to ‘live together’.
“We need to live together we have sent an email to members reminding them of the need to interact with the public, but the public must also interact with boaties.”
A major issue with the ramp, caused by the constant sand inundation, is the need for vehicles to cross the soft sand at speed, to prevent vehicles getting stuck.
“We have to ask people to stop and wait while we reverse, or to move off the boat ramp, but if someone steps out, who is responsible?”