CONCERNED DUO: Anglers Wayne Bonham and Alan James are unhappy about problems at Round Hill Creek.
CONCERNED DUO: Anglers Wayne Bonham and Alan James are unhappy about problems at Round Hill Creek. Matt Taylor 171217DREDGE

Dredging Round Hill Creek far more urgent than Boyne: Anglers

RECREATIONAL anglers in Agnes Water fear it may take a major incident, or even a death, before something is done to improve safety at Round Hill Creek.

Local fishers and boaties are hoping to see action to reduce risk via dredging the sand at the inlet.

Wayne Bonham, who has lived in Agnes Water for 23 years, said he was worried anyone who got into trouble would not be able to rely on swift rescue services.

"Recreationally, the main issue for us is safety," Mr Bonham said.

"We're unable to expect that we'll be safe and have rescue services on low tide times, if something untoward happens at sea.

"We always go to sea with a concern of safety, or lack of safety at the moment, and we're concerned about how we'll be responded to if something happens."

Mr Bonham said people were also angry the Boyne River would be dredged, despite Round Hill requiring the fix for about five years.

He said the main concern was tourists, and even some locals, were being turned off from the area, hurting the town's economy.

"We've got this issue with the Boyne River about to be dredged without any input from anybody, so the locals are pretty angry about it," he said. "It has no boat traffic compared to ours, it has no tourism, it has no VMR boat, it just caters for recreational fishers.

"My biggest fear is that there's plans afoot to take away our tourism and move it to Gladstone, in way of offering deep water access to boats, and what better place to do it than the Boyne River.

"It's the closest river north from Agnes that is navigable to the reef, so it makes business sense for a local authority to want that."

Mr Bonham's concerns were echoed by fellow local fisherman and business owner, Bill Meade.

"It's only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or there's going to be a fatality on that bar, because nobody has done anything about it," Mr Meade said.

"People are starting to say it's too dangerous, we won't come here. "It's really bad for a struggling small town like Agnes Water."