Redland City Council wants state to investigate and fund Rocky Point boat ramp on Russell Island

COUNCIL will push the state to speed up investigations into a boat ramp at Russell Island’s Rocky Point and to then fully fund the infrastructure.

Mayor Karen Williams said it was imperative the government paid for the ramp, its land-based infrastructure and maintenance.

“Redland City ratepayers have, in the past, picked up the tab for a variety of marine infrastructure which really should have been paid for by the state,” she said.

“But we cannot reasonably be expected to continue being one of the only city councils to fund marine infrastructure and so we expect the state to assume full funding responsibility for this boat ramp and its related infrastructure and maintenance.”

It comes as council also called on the state government to fund a $26 million upgrade and take ownership of Southern Moreton Bay Island jetties.

The Rocky Point issue was raised in council in response to a petition from island residents presented in August.

Council agreed to call on the state to urgently complete hydrographic investigations, which a Transport Department spokesperson said earlier this month were scheduled for later in the year.

They would provide base information to consider construction of a possible boat ramp at Russell Island in coming years.

“Funding approval would be required and the project would be assessed against competing statewide priorities,” the spokesperson said.

In council, Cr Mark Edwards said island residents had raised the possibility of installing a ramp at Rocky Point to provide an alternate evacuation route in case of uncontrolled bush fires on the southern end of the island.

“While council’s fire review doesn’t specifically call for a formalised boat ramp at Rocky Passage I know it is a consideration for residents and I will be asking the state government to take this into consideration,” he said.

“Bush fires over recent years have highlighted a higher level of vulnerability for residents in the southern areas of Russell Island.”

Cr Edwards said a Fire Review Report had recommended fire trails linking the south of the island with the north.

“Nevertheless, there is a strong feeling among many island residents that an evacuation route via boats and barges using a purpose-built boat ramp at Rocky Point would be a better and safer option than travelling via linked fire trails.”

Cr Edwards said there were constraints to building a boat ramp at Rocky Point. 

“The main problem is that the tidal area is extremely flat and to achieve an all tide ramp a causeway of more than 200 metres would need to be constructed at considerable cost,” he said.

The Rocky Point tidal flats were also Ramsar-listed and had state biodiversity significance.