History of Proposal
The existing ramp at Bastion Point was built some 40 years ago when the town was a lot smaller and the ocean was easily accessible through the entrance to Mallacoota Inlet. It is a small concrete slab that is cracked and is at times silted over, however it is still usable by beach launching methods. Eastern Victoria’s Abalone Industry is centered in Mallacoota and the ramp is currently used as the industry’s main launching and landing point. Commercial fishers use the ramp with tractors, 4 wheel drives and modified trailers. The ramp is also used by local recreational boat operators using conventional and 4 wheel drive vehicles. Tourists use conventional and 4×4 vehicles or by hiring a tractor and driver.
Development at Bastion Point has been a contentious issue within the community for approximately 20 years. Various studies have been commissioned by the Shire over this time, as seen in the attached timeline.
On two previous occasions the East Gippsland Shire Council has submitted boat ramp/ breakwater proposals to the Minister, neither of which were approved due to the large scale of development and strong community opposition. Given the degree of community opposition to the proposed development, in 2000, the then Minister for Planning determined that the EGSC would need to undertake an Environment Effects Statement (EES) on any boat ramp/ breakwater development. Council questioned the need for this, but in 2001 Minister Thwaites wrote a letter affirming the need for a ‘rigorous and transparent’ EES given the scale of the development.
The current ramp is in a state of disrepair, and the SBPC does not support the ‘do nothing’ approach for the current ramp, and fully supports the Panel findings, as seen on our page Our Solutions.
Proponents of the development often cite the outcome of a Community Ballot in early 2000 as supportive of the development. The Panel examined and was not convinced of this claim: see the excerpt Panel Report – Community Ballot .