New Condong facility plan scrapped

A $425,000-PLAN for a new boat ramp, parking area and toilets at Condong is likely to be ditched because encouraging more boats on the Tweed River could lead to more riverbank erosion.

The facility had been proposed in Tweed Shire Council's seven year plan in 2006 as a way to take pressure off the Tumbulgum stretch of the river which is heavily used by recreational boaters, especially on weekends.

Senior staff have recommended councillors advertise an intention to remove the proposal for a "Condong Regional Boating Facility" from the seven year infrastructure and services plan.

A lack of means to fund the project and concerns about its impact especially on boating safety and riverbank erosion are provided as grounds for the change of heart in a report to be voted on at Tuesday's council meeting.

"There are strong concerns held by council officers, the Tweed River Committee and the community regarding the existing impact of wake induced bank erosion on the river banks of the Upper Tweed River estuary," the report says.

"It is clearly stated in the assessment of recreational facilities and carrying capacity that more facilities will encourage greater use of the river, and it is clear that this use could worsen existing problems, for which presently there are no practical or affordable management options."

However another study in 1996 on the same stretch of the river recommended "a regional boating facility at Condong with the objective of relieving boat launching and car/trailer parking congestion at the Tumbulgum boat ramp".

That was followed by a further study in 2008 which found that while there was "an unserviced demand for recreational boating facilities" the use of the upper estuary in peak times "is potentially exceeding the carrying capacity".

The 2008 study recommended development of the Condong facility "as a means of decreasing pressure at Tumbulgum" but warned "provision of increased facilities in the area would increase use and exacerbate existing problems related to environmental degradation, recreational amenity and safety".

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