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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 793 asked in the Legislative Council on 7 November 2017 by Hon Dr Steve Thomas

Minister responding: Hon S.N. Dawson
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 7 November 2017

      793. Hon Dr STEVE THOMAS to the Minister for Environment:
I refer to a report commissioned recently by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions—formerly Parks and Wildlife—into the future of the Canal Rocks boat ramp, and a recommendation to close the facility due to safety concerns.
      (1) How many boat ramp users have been injured on or at the ramp in the last 30 years; and what was the nature of those injuries?
      (2) Have any fatalities ever been reported on or at the facility; and, if so, how many, and when and how did they occur?
      (3) Has the government received legal advice on its liability in relation to the boat ramp; and, if so, will the minister table that advice?
      (4) Have there been any reported injuries or fatalities on or at nearby boat ramps at Hamelin Bay, Gnarabup and Gracetown; and, if so, how many, and how and when and how did they occur?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
      (1) Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions records show the following injuries on or at the ramp: June 2003, minor back injury; and March 2007, minor injuries, no precise details provided. I am aware that a further six accidents have been recorded by DBCA associated with the use of the boat ramp and there is the possibility that further injuries have occurred but have not been reported.
(2) No.
      (3) DBCA has received advice from the government insurer, RiskCover, regarding liability at the boat ramp. RiskCover has advised that given the findings of the M P Rogers and Associates report commissioned by the former Liberal–National government, there appears to be a clear and imminent risk of serious injury to users of this facility. RiskCover has advised that in the absence of compelling reasons to change its view, it will move to exclude all claims and/or liability arising from the use of this facility.
      Last Saturday, I had a very constructive meeting with the member for Vasse and representatives from the Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue, the City of Busselton and other key stakeholders. It was agreed that a peer review of the M P Rogers and Associates report would be undertaken urgently. This review will be considered prior to making a final decision.
      (4) There have been no reported fatalities at Hamelin Bay boat ramp, and there has been one reported injury involving a trip injury in the car park in March 2013. In relation to reported injuries or fatalities on or at nearby boat ramps at Gnarabup and Gracetown, these boat ramps are managed by the Shire of Augusta–Margaret River and are not the responsibility of DBCA.