BURRUM HEADS BOAT RAMP Sub Committee - FINAL REPORT - October 2016

At our Progress Association meeting on 20 April 2006, Hervey Bay City Council (HBCC) representatives – Ken Fox, Kevin Corcoran and Cr Sue Brooks (plus Ron Smith & Darren Bell), explained eight (8) different options for a safe boat ramp facility at Burrum Heads. Over one hundred (100) community members attended. The minutes of that meeting read as follows:- “After considering the environmental impact of each development and the probable ongoing maintenance costs, it was decided that the area west of Lions Park was the preferred location. ---, the existing barbeque and swimming areas will not be affected. ---.”

At a later meeting, a motion, moved by Roger Tapp and seconded by Barry Alexander was carried for a boat ramp sub-committee to be appointed and to consist of George Dart, Zorro Tarnawsky and Bill Cardiff.

This was formed and the sub-committee given the agenda to liaise with all Government Departments for a safe boat ramp facility to be constructed at Burrum Heads.

After thousands of kilometres travelled, many, many meetings (including trips to talk with Ministers at Parliament House, Brisbane), thousands of phone calls, written documents and reports to Progress Association, the construction of a safe boating facility, together with the diversion of that dangerous and putrid storm water drain, has been achieved.

WE NOW HAVE A MAGNIFICENT FACILITY and congratulations are in order for Hall Constructions who have met deadlines and created something wonderful.

One particular document organized by Transport and Main Roads boating infrastructure division, was to gain knowledge of future boat ramp projects for Queensland. The final document in May 2010 – “Recreational Boating Facilities Demand Forecasting Project” – nominated Burrum Heads as a major focus area and priority one for such a facility in Southern Queensland. We were at the original meeting and presented our needs for Burrum Heads. Ted Sorensen and other organizations present supported us. The outcomes of this document gave us the necessary evidence to continue the move forward.

We congratulate the State Government – Minister the Honourable Mark Bailey and our local MP – Bruce Saunders really got behind the project and achieved the major initial step of the revocation of this special boat ramp area out of the Marine Park. It must be remembered that this project will benefit our communities for more than twenty (20) years. There are many other members who have assisted. In particular, a great amount of credit goes to Peter Wood (Manager infrastructure Delivery / Boating Unit / Program Management and Delivery / Department of Transport and Main Roads), who was instrumental in professionally moving this project forward in line with the wishes of our community. Peter, with his unit, spent many hours on all aspects of this project and the thought and design work that went into this project is a great credit to all concerned.

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L to R : Zorro Tarnawsky, Mayor Chris Loft, Bruce Saunders MP, 
Bill Cardiff,
George Dart, Cr Rolf Light 

Our Fraser Coast Regional Council (FCRC) has been the driving force behind this project and without this our new boat ramp facility would never have been achieved. Our thanks to the Council of that time:- Mayor Gerrard O’Connell, CEO Lisa Desmond, our Division 5 Councillor Rolf Light and all the Councillors who were extremely positive with regard to our needs. Our present Mayor, Chris Loft, was one of Councillors. Cr Anne Maddern previously negotiated a great deal on our behalf. There were two other Councillors from a previous Council who always promoted our safety needs – David Dalgleish & Les Muchan. CEO – Lisa, has earned herself enormous congratulations from the boat ramp sub-committee.

Lisa placed our important family safety needs on her ‘bucket list’ and from then on very positive forward moves were made. Meetings with Lisa were always very professional and positive even at times there were “no’s”, “cannot achieve that”, etc. However Lisa knew we would come back with another strategy and she would be ready for the challenge. Lisa is a great asset to Council and to our communities.

Members of our Progress Association have always been very supportive of the Boat Ramp Sub-committee. Many thanks to all those members of BHPA. More than six(6) years ago, Ron and Nancy Gregson became members of Progress and when Ron became President he fully supported this community project, attended meetings at Hervey Bay and was our driver on all trips to Parliament House. Together, we made positive steps forward.

Members of our two fishing clubs, the Burrum Heads Amateur Fishing Club and the Blue Water Boating Club always supported our endeavours.

Many in our community assisted in positive ways. Community members (Alby, Bill, Glenys, John, Julie, business people and clubs) in the early part of 2006 put together a document of 2400 signatures for this project for presentation to Government – a great effort.

Over the years there were many other people (too many to name) involved in promoting this necessary project. Please take this as our sincere thanks.

A great deal of credit goes to our wives – Lea, Colleen, Glenys – who fully supported us, encouraged us through the positives and other times of our project and without this support outcomes could have been different.



Please enjoy this facility, use it wisely, demonstrate thought and respect for others and have a great deal of patience. It may be needed at the beginning until everyone gets used to it.


George, Zorro, Bill. (BHPA Boat Ramp Sub-committee).


The following photos are courtesy of Zorro Tarnawsky and Peter McKenzie.

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Reclamation of land west of the Lions Park

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Earth dams constructed to hold back the water while reclamation is being done and fill added

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Concrete "C" sections for drainage assembled ready for deployment, and concrete truck with a load for the ramp

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Outriggers compound - base preparation, concrete footpath complete and parking area rolled in preparation for 'spraying' prior to bitumen being applied

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Sealed parking area 'sprayed', bitumen applied and line marking being completed

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Ramp facilities almost complete, and photo of ramp taken from pontoon at high tide

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Ramp facilities complete and being used by local charters.