Growing concern about how Queensland boat owners are increasingly being over-charged and under-serviced by local and state governments, has prompted the formation of Ramp It Up – an alliance drawn from some of the state’s 238,000 owners of registered boats.
And first item on their agenda is the Wellington Point Reserve boat ramp issue where over-demand for space and repeated illegal parking by cars in reserved boat trailer spaces, is causing unnecessary conflict.
Ramp It Up is offering to work as a conduit with Redland City Council and other users of the reserve, to provide a workable solution to the current conflicts.
Ramp It Up spokesman, Mr David Anderson said more than 100 local boat owners already had aligned Ramp It Up and with one in five Redlands households owning a registered boat, he hoped the numbers would quickly expand into the thousands.
'There are many issues confronting boaties – we’ve got local Councillors telling us that a motion recently passed about a trial, reduced parking arrangement at the Wellington Point Reserve ramp, was not the motion they thought they were voting on; we’ve had decisions made about access times to parking at the ramp without the critical matter of tide heights and water depths at the end of the ramp even being mentioned.
'We have police saying that a ‘don’t book offenders’ approach is just ridiculous yet, some elected representatives still advocate this flawed strategy; people who never have owned a boat are making wild claims about who and when people go boating as if every boat and person were exactly the same – it’s time to put some intelligence, facts and reason back into the discussion,' Mr Anderson said.
'As well, we’ve just seen the new State Government advise that it will be plundering half of the $4.5 million paid annually by boat owners for facilities through the recreational use levy.
'Ramp It Up has been advised that the levy, which is paid in addition to boat registration fees, in addition to trailer registration fees; in addition to the roads component of petrol prices and in addition to the traffic improvement component of car registration fees, will go into consolidated revenue.
'In what is tantamount to misappropriating the levy for other purposes, that decision has come straight on top of major increases in boat and trailer registration fees varying from 27% to 146% over the last few years.
'One would have perhaps thought that with the number of employees in the marine industry shrinking to a fraction of what it was ten years ago including the loss of four local businesses and around 50 jobs in the last year alone, that local and state governments would demonstrate more concern than they have to date.
'However, rather than sitting back as armchair critics, we are very committed to working proactively and ensuring fairer representation of boat owners’ requirements,' Mr Anderson said.
Mr Anderson said pending further arrangements which currently were being made, people interested in becoming part of Ramp It Up could email their contact details to him via daveanderson_1 (at) hotmail.com
by Dave Anderson
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11:57 PM Mon 22 Oct 2012GMT
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