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Australia. Boating Industry Association (BIA) of Victoria seek political cure for ramp rage

Thursday, 16 November 2006

The Boating Industry Association (BIA) of Victoria has called on Victoria’s political leaders to invest in new boat launching ramps as a cure for “ramp rage”.

BIA chief executive officer Lindsay Grenfell said the only cure for ramp rage – prompted by delays of two hours and more – was to build new launching ramps in Victoria’s waterways.

“Successive governments have failed to invest in new ramps, and this hurts boating and the entire industry that supports it,” he said. “I can even tell them where the first new ramp should be – right under the West Gate Bridge. It beggars belief that you can’t launch a boat in the Yarra to visit Docklands or go up the rivers, but the nearest ramps are across the Bay at St Kilda or Williamstown.”

Mr Grenfell said ramp rage was almost inevitable when two hours was a common waiting time at many boat ramps.

“Imagine going out at three in the morning because the snapper are running ... and then waiting two to three hours to get your boat in the water,” he said. “Our politicians seem to want the boating vote, judging by the heavy promotion of recent boating grants, but those grants are for maintenance, signage, education and safety programs, not a single extra ramp. A fisherman waiting for two hours at a ramp won’t be much impressed by some new signage or a program telling him to wear a lifejacket.”

Mr Grenfell said a modest investment in boat ramps would be a major boost for recreation on the water, and would also support an important manufacturing industry.

“The $5.2 million recently allocated to boating projects is much less than the government collects in license and registration fees,” he said.

“If they did no more than double this allocation, we could start to catch up with the three per cent annual growth in the number of power boats registered in Victoria. Thousands of Victorians are employed in building, selling and servicing those boats, and whoever governs our state can help protect their jobs simply by building some boat ramps.”

Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 November 2006 )