NSW councils close boat ramps

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SEVERAL NSW councils have closed boat ramps in response to COVID-19 restrictions, despite authorities allowing fishing and boating in the state.

Boat ramps in the Port Stephens area were closed last week, a measure locals say is in response to an increase of visiting fishos.

While NSW Police is warning fishos to “stay local”, the closure of local boat ramps is restricting access for residents, many of whom are travelling further afield.

Penrith City Council in Western Sydney closed its boat ramp during the week, a decision which puts it at odds with Transport NSW and the NSW Police.

As spokesman for the council told Fishing World the closure was based on current state and federal guidelines.

“The guidelines set by both the Australian and NSW Governments and enforced by NSW Police are clear in detailing under what circumstances people can leave their residence,” said the spokesman.

“The boat ramp is closed to recreational users as Council adheres to the NSW Government’s Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020.

“To minimise gatherings and ensure appropriate social distancing measures are being acted upon, the ramp will remain closed until further notice.

“It is important to note that Council has not restricted fishing.

“We ask that the community respect those guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone in limiting the spread of COVID-19,” said the spokesman.

Transport NSW (NSW Maritime) today told Fishing World boaters who need to be out on the water are advised to use common sense, and remember to follow social rules at all times.

“They are encouraged to stay within local waters as much as possible. Boaters should only be on their boat alone, or with no more than one other person; or with family who ordinarily live in the same household,” said a Transport NSW spokesperson.

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