Dundee and Shady Camp boat ramps to get upgrades

RECREATIONAL anglers and boaters will soon enjoy greater accessibility and safety at two of the Northern Territory’s most popular fishing spots following the release of tenders to upgrade boat ramp facilities at both Dundee Beach and Shady Camp.

Minister for Infrastructure Peter Chandler said $4.5 million will be invested into the Dundee Beach upgrade and $2 million will be spent on boat ramp construction at Shady Camp.

“The Dundee Beach upgrade will see the construction of an 80-metre concrete self-launch boat ramp built alongside an extended rock groyne which will provide greater shelter from onshore winds and swell,” Chandler said.

Vitally for users, once completed it will eliminate the current need for the commercial tractor launch service to access the water, removing the cost for users and significantly cutting back waiting times.

Works at Shady Camp will involve a 50-metre extension to the boat ramp with a slip resistant concrete surface. The parking area will be sealed and improved with 60 marked car and trailer bays.

“The project will ensure the popular location is equipped to cope with the high volume of users in a safer and more time effective environment,” Chandler said.

Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Gary Higgins said disruptions to anglers will be kept to a minimum during construction with the existing launch process to continue at Dundee where practical and temporary launch facilities to be installed at Shady Camp.

“These improvements will enhance the overall experience of fishing in the Territory which is already one of the most popular pastimes enjoyed widely across the NT,” Mr Higgins said.

The Dundee Beach boat ramp is the central access point to the Finniss River, Bynoe Harbour and the popular offshore fishing grounds in and around Fog Bay.

The Department’s recreational fishing survey team’s trailer counts show it has the second highest usage of all boat ramps in the Territory, exceeded only by Dinah Beach near Darwin’s CBD.

Demand on the Shady Camp facilities is similarly high with visitation expected to increase due to the recent removal of the annual seasonal recreational fishing closure, the increase of the barramundi possession limit to three in the Mary River and the removal of commercial barramundi fishing in Chambers and Finke Bays.

The Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) has welcomed the upgrades as a very positive move for recreational fishing in the Territory.

“The upgrades to these key access points will not only allow for increased access and safety but add to the overall enjoyment for anglers, promote fishing as a lifestyle opportunity for more Territorians and increase tourism opportunities as well,” AFANT Executive Officer Tristan Sloan said.

“The self-launch boat ramp at Dundee will particularly benefit anglers who will now have the ability to safely enter and exit the water themselves and no longer rely on tractor assisted launching and limited operating hours.

“I would advise those using the areas during construction to exercise patience and we certainly look forward to utilising the finished facilities later this year.”

The tenders will close in April and, weather permitting, construction is expected to be completed at Shady Camp by August and Dundee Beach by October 2016.

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