The Islander editorial – boat ramp upgrade happening

The topic of the Emu Bay boat ramp upgrade was listed on Tuesday’s KI Council meeting agenda as questions on notice. CEO Andrew Boardman prior to the meeting informed The Islander that ramp had specifically designed as a recreational boating facility for vessels up to 1 tonne. However, the larger 8m side of the ramp had the capability to be used by significantly larger commercial vessels under permit from the council. The council will assess each application on its merits.

There was also the issue of how rough seas will impact the ramp that currently was deemed a “fair-weather ramp”. Mr Boardman said the two jetties extending out on either side of the new 8-metre and 4-metre wide ramps would feature wave attenuation boards that would minimize the impact of all waves coming in at an angle, except those coming in at 90 degrees to the ramp.

The council could use money saved to install a floating “swell-breaker” directly in front of the ramp to reduce the impact of swell, similar to those used at other ramps, including Port Lincoln. These devices consisted of large plastic pipes, some flooded, some empty, lashed together and moored to the seafloor, floating perpendicular to the shore and ramp. Deputy mayor and boating facilities committee member Larry Turner had checked out the use of these devices at two locations elsewhere in South Australia and had reported his views back to the committee. 

Other matters discussed by councillors on Tuesday included an update on the ongoing pollution at Christmas Cove, Penneshaw. Mr Boardman informed the council that the EPA was reviewing a report by consultants that revealed there were hydrocarbons detected at each of the points drilled above the cove and in the town. The report will be released to the public with a recommendation for action.

The council on Tuesday also discussed the strategic plan for Penneshaw and how vital the ferry link to the mainland was. There has been discussion on upgrading the port facilities at both Cape Jervis and Penneshaw to increase ferry service, but this was still in its infancy.  

The Islander will also bring you updates on plans to turn the American River health service building into a tourism/dining facility, as well as plans by the Kangaroo Island Community Club to develop land at Parndana for a new subdivision, so stay tuned! – Stan Gorton