Fishos lose boat ramp access in Botany Bay
A RECENT announcement that Botany Bay’s Kyeemagh boat ramp would be closed at night to manage "hooligans" has highlighted the need for a new ramp in the area, away from local residents.
For many years groups like the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW (RFA) has lobbied Bayside Council and NSW Maritime to build a new ramp in the area.
Significant boating infrastructure is sadly lacking in Botany Bay. Plans have been drawn up and provided to the RFA of NSW and the local fishing club South Sydney Amateur Fishing Association back in 2017. They have been actively seeking to increase fishing access in and around Botany Bay for many years and recently secured the money to fully fund the Southern Sydney Artificial Reefs.
The RFA has shared the details of the ramp that was meant to be built at Cooks River (Bayside LGA). Only this week it lobbied the local Member Michael Daley to facilitate a meeting between the groups and Bayside Council which Mr Daley has agreed to do.
RFA of NSW and SSAFA president Stan Konstantaras said the new ramp "would serve two functions, to provide some relief to the overcrowding we are continually seeing at the Foreshore Rd Boatramp, which is often closed due to being at capacity most weekends over summer. This new ramp was meant to solve some of the issues and it will also provide some relief the residents who live around the other boat ramp further back into the Cooks River.”
This was a ramp that was meant to be built in 2017 but was put on hold and in the final stages of detailed design before commencing construction when a detailed cost estimate was completed. The estimate indicated the cost had doubled from $4M to over $8M. The RMS has advised Council the Project is now on permanent hold pending securing additional funding.
As part of the $5 million Port Botany Boating and Fishing Infrastructure Program which was paid as a community offset for the Port Botany Expansion, $3 million was supposed to be allocated to this new ramp , but nothing has happened and recently Mark Banasiak from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party in Budget Estimates asked the Minister Andrew Constance where the money has gone. The RFA of NSW and SSAFA played an integral part in securing the $5M and are acutely aware that $3M is left in the kitty, quite easily filling the supposed shortfall and is now chasing the money with the help of Mark Banasiak.
“We are really keen to progress this and increase the boat trailer parking at our boat ramps in the area and with the support of Mark Banasiak and Michael Daley we are hopeful that we can sit down with Bayside Council and Minister Constance to get a good outcome and retain access for fishers who launch their boats in Botany Bay,” said Konstantaras.
The NSW Government continually build new roads that reduce travel time and has opened up many more fishing opportunities for fishers who tow their boats from western Sydney only to find ramps closed at night or shut due to overcrowding during the day.
The RFA of NSW says it’s a “no-brainer… its already half funded and shovel ready”.