Council signs restrict access to the Beecher boat ramp.
Council signs restrict access to the Beecher boat ramp. Paul Braven

Dept denies it ordered closure of Beecher boat ramp

THE Department of Natural Resources and Mines has hit back at claims it made the decision to close the Beecher boat ramp.

The boat ramp was closed last week and the decision left local residents fuming.

>> Read the official responses from council and the department

Gladstone Regional Council told The Observer on Friday it had been advised by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and Department of Environmental Heritage that the area needed to be stabilised.

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Councillor Col Chapman said: "There was no consultation with the Beecher community because the decision was a directive given by the Queensland Government. Council had no choice but to close the unapproved boat ramp."

The department said in a statement yesterday: "This unauthorised boat ramp is located on a "reserve for recreational purposes" which under the Land Act is managed by the Gladstone Regional Council as trustees of this state land.

"Any decisions about this reserve, including the boat ramp, are a matter for the council as trustee and manager of the land.

"The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has given no direction to the Gladstone Regional Council to close the Beecher boat ramp on the Calliope River west of Gladstone."

The council has since told The Observer the decision was based on their recommendations as a result of erosion in the area.

OFFICIAL RESPONSES:

Gladstone Regional Council:

Observer: We have been informed by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Dept. of Environment and Heritage Protection that they had no involvement with the decision to close the Beecher boat ramp.

Council: This is correct. Council's decision was based on their recommendations as a result of erosion in the area.

Observer: The department states the land is a "reserve for recreational purposes" which under the Land Act is managed by the Gladstone Regional Council as trustees of this state land. 

Council: We can confirm this is a 'reserve for recreational purposes' which is managed by Council as trustees of this state land.

Further information supplied by the council:

  • NRM are owners of the land.
  • NRM and DEHP met with Council onsite and provided recommendations as to the future of the area on 1 May 2014. This was confirmed further by email. Please see attached.
  • The advice we received is confirmed in that email as well.
  • Council cannot stabilise/remediate this land without closing the informal boat launch area.

Natural Resources and Mines Department:

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has given no direction to the Gladstone Regional Council to close the Beecher boat ramp on the Calliope River west of Gladstone.

This unauthorised boat ramp is located on a "reserve for recreational purposes" which under the Land Act is managed by the Gladstone Regional Council as trustees of this state land.

Any decisions about this reserve, including the boat ramp, are a matter for the Council as trustee and manager of the land.

The closure was not at the direction of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines which has had no dealings with the Gladstone Regional Council about this reserve or the boat ramp since May 2014.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection also advises it gave no directions to the Council over the Beecher boat ramp.