6 July, 2021
New pontoon gets thumbs up from boat users
The change in conditions for boat users was immediately noticeable for Kurt Gane, who was the first to use Weipa’s new pontoon.
By MATT NICHOLLS
“It’s so much better than what we had. The conditions are much safer for getting passengers on and off the boat,” the owner/operator of Far North Fishing said.
“You can see in this area, where the protection is, that it’s perfectly flat, which is what we were hoping to see when it was installed.”
There is still room for another extension, which Mr Gane and other boaties hope will be funded to allow for better protection of the ramp itself.
“That’s going to be our next little project,” said Dave Donald, a veteran charter fishing operator who now steers the Weipa Marine and Boating Group committee.
“We are really grateful that the state government listened to our concerns and funded this magnificent facility, which will improve safety at the boat ramp.
“The next step is to extend this pontoon so it provides protection for the ramp, which can get rough when the south-easterly blows.”
Weipa Town Authority chair Michael Rowland was on the new pontoon on Wednesday morning, just minutes after it was officially opened.
He said the $3.5 million piece of infrastructure was an asset for the Weipa community.
“This is something we have wanted for a long time and it looks magnificent,” he said.
“If it is extended down the track, it’s going to be like a mini marina, which is what Weipa needs.”
Maritime Safety Queensland general manager Angus Mitchell said the project was completed well ahead of schedule.
“The new pontoon will provide sheltered berthing space for about five boats and will be suitable for deep draught vessels and visiting yachts,” he said.
“Outside berths will still be usable in good conditions.
“Before you venture out, remember to always check the weather and let someone know when you are going and when you intend to return.”
The pontoon was constructed by The Jetty Specialist but installed by Weipa-based company Carpentaria Contracting.