The Easter Fishing Competition is still on the cards at Kingston this year, despite dredging issues keeping the Maria Creek Boat Ramp closed.
Kingston District Council CEO Andrew MacDonald said the council had been in contact for some weeks with the event coordinators, Kingston Football Club, on the situation surrounding the local boat ramp.
“The event will still go ahead,” Mr MacDonald said.
“But the Cape Jaffa boat ramp will be the one which participants will use. We have let the Kingston Football Club know, and they are making alternative plans.”
One resident, Allan Haggett, thinks that the Cape Jaffa boat ramp reallocation is not the best idea.
“There were around 251 boat trailers at Cape Jaffa recently,” Mr Haggett said, “and they were waiting around half an hour to three-quarters of an hour just to get in and out of the water.”
Mr Haggett said it was a waste of time for boaties, as those who wish to be on the Kingston coastline must travel to Cape Jaffa to launch their boats and then travel back to Kingston on the water.
“It just takes up so much time, and I can’t understand why the council aren’t doing more.”
Mr MacDonald said the reason for the ramp being closed is the dredging situation which is at a high risk level.
In a letter sent out to ratepayers this week, the council explained to the Kingston community that the ramp is closed due to the incredible amount of sea grass and sand build up that has occurred over the 2017 winter period.
Over more than five weeks of continuous dredging, it is reported that 35,000 cubic metres of sea grass has been removed, and the facility is unable to be opened due to the continuous and unprecedented flow of sea grass down the creek into the boat launch area.
Alongside the sea grass, sand is also becoming a major issue, with 1m depth of sand blocking the entrance to the channel in just four days.
Tonkins Engineering from Adelaide has recently visited Kingston to provide the council with independent and professional advice on the circumstances.
Tonkins said the challenge to the council was “enormous” and there will be a significant ongoing cost incurred if the dredging works continue.
Tonkins have also explained to the council that even with ongoing dredging, there is no immediate guarantee of success.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Mr Haggett.
“We are a coastal town with no available boat ramp. This boat ramp business has been an issue for too long now.”
Kingston District Council will engage a coastal engineer to investigate short and long-term options, including all associated cossts for the Maria Creek Boat Launch Facility.
Once this information has been received and reviewed by the elected members, a community engagement process will be conducted, ensuring feedback from the community.
“We are just lucky to be within a district that has two boat ramps available,” Mr MacDonald said.
The council will keep the Kingston community informed about the issue in coming months.