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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 789 asked in the Legislative Council on 7 November 2017 by Hon Rick Mazza

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

      789. Hon RICK MAZZA to the Minister for Environment:
I refer to the proposal to close the Canal Rocks boat ramp.
(1) What is the rationale for the closure?
      (2) Has the government received an alternative proposal for the site of the boat ramp or close to the site of the boat ramp?
(3) Has the impact on the recreational fishing community been assessed?
(4) Has the department assessed the cost of upgrading the ramp?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
      (1) A report by M P Rogers and Associates into a review of the management of Canal Rocks boat ramp and jetty was commissioned by the former Liberal–National government in June 2016. The final report provided to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in August 2017. This report was commissioned following ongoing concerns from Naturaliste Volunteer Marine Rescue and others about the safety of using the facility in both low and high-swell conditions. The report indicated that without construction of substantial breakwaters, continued use of the facility presents a significant risk to public safety because for the vast majority of the time—estimated at 90 to 95 per cent—it does not comply with the current Australian standard. The site poses a potential liability to the state, and RiskCover has advised that given the findings of the study there appears to be a clear and imminent risk of serious injury to users of this facility, and 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.
(2)–(3) No.
      (4) The purpose of the M P Rogers and Associates study was to assess the cost of upgrading the boat ramp and jetty. The report concluded that without construction of a substantial breakwater, continued use of the facility presents a significant risk to public safety. A previous report prepared for the City of Busselton had indicated that the cost of the breakwater was estimated at $5 million. No further costings have been undertaken in relation to the construction of a breakwater at Canal Rocks.