Council votes to open Emu Bay boat ramp

The view from the gallery at the Kangaroo Island Council informal gathering on drought funding on Tuesday morning. Photo: Steve Harrison
The view from the gallery at the Kangaroo Island Council informal gathering on drought funding on Tuesday morning. Photo: Steve Harrison

The Kangaroo Island Council at its December meeting on Tuesday voted to allow the contractor to open the Emu Bay boat ramp to the public.

Upgrades to the fendering system, sealing of the car park and warning sign are all in place.

There was some discussion about the integrity of the rock structure after clr Ken Liu called in his concerns, but it was deemed an engineers report had signed off on the construction and design. It was also noted that council could withhold funds to the contractor if the structure failed within the first year.

The council will also sell off land at Emu Bay to offset the costs of the new ramp and will continue to lobby the state boating authority for additional funding for a breakwater.

In other business, the council decided to discuss the merger KI Community Housing Association with Junction at a special informal gathering and council meeting next Tuesday.

Also at next Tuesday's meeting, the council will discuss its signage policy for roadside tourism and information signs. But it voted to put off any action to alter beach access signage until council staff can review costs and sign designs.

Councillors also deferred until next Tuesday any discussion of waiving a $1000 street closure fee for a New Year's party outside the Aurora Ozone Hotel.

There was some discussion about the airport, including alleged problems with the integrity of the runway sealing and also proposals to offer incentives to airlines to keep flying to KI. It was revealed that Qantas could be considering scaling back its Adelaide service in the cooler months.

The council voted against having anything to do with a local advisory board for visitor information servicing as suggested by the KI Commissioner. Clr Graham Walkom instead suggested the council develop its own tourism management plan.

The council also voted to send a letter to State planning authorities stating its "vehement" opposition to the Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber's Smith Bay proposal, which it said was inappropriate and any timber port needed to be further west in deeper water and closer to the trees.

Mayor Michael Pengilly and councillors also took issue with a letter from KIPT chairman Paul McKenzie, who alleged a "culture of negativity and division". The mayor said he would respond with a letter of his own.

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