Our slice of fishing heaven could be saved
A popular fishing hole south of Proserpine may not be lost to recreational fishers. A government department said it was working with Whitsunday Regional Council to identify options to allow fishing enthusiasts to access the site on Thompson Creek.
The anglers have been illegally using a track through private property to access an unofficial boat ramp.
The Department of Natural Resources informed the council it would close the gravel road to the site following a request by the landowner. It asked the council to stop maintaining the track across the private land and the boat launching area.
A department spokesman said it managed an area of state land adjoining Thompson Creek. "Members of the public have illegally been using a track through privately owned land to access this site to launch boats. The boat ramp, which has not been properly constructed, is not an authorised public boat ramp."
He said users exposed the private landholder and the state to significant liability risks and land degradation. The department and the council had been working closely "to identify suitable options for appropriate public access" to this area.
AFTER decades of recreational use, the government will shut the gate on a road that leads to a little slice of fishing heaven on Thompson Creek, about 40km south of Proserpine.
The Department of Natural Resources and Mines sent an official letter to Whitsunday Regional Council chief executive officer Scott Waters this week informing the council it would close the access road to the popular fishing site.
A council spokeswoman said the letter did not give a date for the closure of Magees Rd, but stated it was the result of a request made by a private landholder.
The fishing site has given pleasure to thousands of fishermen and women over generations and hosted state amateur fishing titles. One keen Mackay user, Lance Murray, said the spot was loved and respected by users, never trashed or vandalised, and fishing enthusiasts took away their rubbish.
Allan Ahmat, 63, who has fished at the spot since he was 12, is dismayed by the government decision.
As the president of the Mackay and District Amateur Fishing Clubs Association, Mr Ahmat said the area had been neglected for many years by the council but was popular with the fishing crowd from Mackay, Bowen and Proserpine, and by the clubs who also had many children as members.
"To have that done to us is un-Australian. It is part of our identity to be able to go fishing," Mr Ahmat said.
"Access to these popular fishing spots is slowly being taken from us. It is sad because it is one of the last areas that holds quality fish. You can catch a fish there and take it home for tea.
"Many of the other areas are being fished out by the professionals."
The fisherman said the problem may be the result of the gravel road being built in the wrong place, going behind a house known as "the old Cowans property" instead of at the front.
He said the property may be put on the market for sale and this could be the reason for the owner's application.
Last night a media spokesman for Natural Resources and Mines said a reply and explanation for the road closure would be made soon.
Thanks to Daily Mercury
Ross Irby | 22nd May 2014 | Updated: 23rd May 2014 12:21 PM