Victoria’s recreational fishing body has deemed Torquay’s boat ramp the most dangerous in the state.
VRFish said in a new report that the “rotting” ramp on Fisherman’s Beach should be the highest priority in the state for new boat launching facilities but authorities had yet to commit funding for improvements.
The report said the ramp would remain a safety hazard without a controversial breakwater.
A Great Ocean Road Coast Committee study has investigated options for replacing the ramp but ruled out a breakwater amid fears it could ruin a nearby surf break. The study instead suggested replacing the ramp with an improved design.
VRFish chair Bob Pearce called the existing ramp an “accident waiting to happen”.
“There are some major safety issues down there,” Mr Pearce said.
“The volunteer marine safety group has to do rescues in highrisk situations. The ramp is at the point that it could collapse, causing serious injury or even death.”
Mr Pearce said bodies such as Western Coastal Board had failed to realise the urgency of replacing the ramp.
“It’s ridiculous we have to campaign to get this funding,” he said.
Member for South Barwon Michael Crutchfield said he would support grant applications for a new ramp but a breakwater would have to wait.
“Torquay is the (area’s) major angling facility but one thing at a time,” Mr Crutchfield said.
“Western Coastal Board is looking at doing a boating coastal action plan, which may indicate Torquay as a regional facility, which usually comes with a breakwater, but that’s something for the future.”
Coast committee executive officer David Clarke said the ramp study had found that a breakwater at Fisherman’s Beach would be “difficult and expensive”.
But he said VRFish highlighting Torquay as a priority would help with grant applications for the proposed $700,000 ramp upgrade.
“The more the merrier,” he said.
Earlier this year Western Coastal Board executive officer, Steve Blackley said the boating coastal action plan could lead to a breakwater if Torquay was suggested as a regional facility.
Mr Blackley could not say when or whether the board would run a study.