Media response - O'Sullivan Beach boat ramp petition

Published on 26 September 2019

Response to Southern Times Messenger.

  • I'm following up on a petition to State Parliament calling for the O'Sullivans Beach boat ramp to be upgraded by the council and State Government. About 550 people have signed the petition, which was handed in yesterday by Katrine Hildyard. It's estimated to cost about $833,000. Is this being project being considered by the Council?

Comments attributed to Kirk Richardson, Director City Operations

Based on the Memorandum of Agreement between the previous Minister of Marine and the City of Onkaparinga, it is our understanding that the infrastructure seaward of the high water mark, such as the ramp and pontoons, are assets owned and maintained by the state government and our responsibilities are landward of the high water mark.

We have been active in upgrading and maintaining the facility assets landward of the high water mark since the execution of the agreement and believe that access to the facility’s boat launch/retrieval ramps, continues to function well.

After an inspection of the facility, the assets that manage traffic and parking remain in good condition, and we have no plans to upgrade any part of the facility landward of the high water mark.

Based on our observations and information received from facility users, the traffic management issues relate to congestion and long wait times associated with the launching/retrieving of boats during busy days.

We have been working with the Marine Facilities section of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) since 2012 on a project for a boat ramp extension and new pontoon.

The project originated when DPTI removed the original pontoon located in the south east corner of the facility in 2011, with no consultation or plans to replace the pontoon.

It appears that the need to remove the structure was a result of a lack of maintenance and inadequate dredging of sand from around the pontoon, which led to the shortened asset life.

Considering the terms of the agreement and the unfulfilled maintenance obligations, DPTI completed designs and agreed to fund its capital replacement by seeking 100 percent funding through the SA Boating Facility and Advisory Committee (SABFAC).

The project was suggested in 2012-13 based on the launch statistics at that time. Information received from facility users was positive after we conducted an extensive community engagement process on DPTI’s behalf.

In August 2015, DPTI reported a drop in usage numbers, potentially due to the higher cost associated with recreational boating and fishing in the state.

DPTI representatives stated that SABFAC funding priorities are for projects that improve safety and serviceability of boat launch facilities and not for enhancements to a facility that is functioning well.

DPTI advised that it was difficult to justify the $833,000 needed for the project in its current form and that it was unlikely that SABFAC would fund such a project.

We suggested that DPTI review the project and propose an alternative scope that involved replacement of the pontoon without the ramp extension.

This has not been received from DPTI however, we would encourage them to revive the project and would be prepared to support any investigations and assist with further community engagement if necessary.

We’d also encourage local members of parliament to work with us on this, to achieve a positive outcome for the region.

ENDS