Friday, July 26, 2024

Barunga West Council sinks boat ramp parking fees

Barunga West Council is making it cheaper for boaties and fishers to get out on the water with parking to be free at every public boat ramp from 1 July.

The abolition of fees at the Port Broughton and Fisherman Bay boat ramps comes in response to community feedback and will save those launching at Council ramps $95 a year on an annual permit, said Council CEO, Maree Wauchope.

“Every public boat ramp in the Barunga West region will be free from July 1 2024 so more people can enjoy their time on our stunning coastline,” Ms Wauchope said.

“Making it free to park and launch a boat will not only help get more locals out on the water, but it will also provide a boost to the local economy and entice more visitors to enjoy our beautiful region.”

She said Council’s decision followed feedback highlighting issues with the permit machines and the requirement to use the EasyPark app, which proved challenging for many users, particularly older boaties.

“By removing the fees, Council aims to provide a more user-friendly experience and ensure that everyone can access the boat ramps without technological issues or worry.”

She said that maintaining the boat ramps through general rates rather than a user-pay system aligns with how other public assets such as playgrounds and roads are funded. The approach will help alleviate the need for Council staff to enforce permit compliance, which has proved a logistical challenge, especially during weekends and public holidays.

The Council says that while the removal of fees will result in a loss of revenue, it will be accommodated within the Annual Business Plan.

In the previous financial year, the revenue from boat ramp fees was around $26,200, with expenditures on maintenance and upgrades reaching $27,000. Transitioning to a no-fee system will streamline operations and reduce administrative burdens, Council says.

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