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    Rosslyn Bay - No more bitumen, please
Rosslyn Bay Map
At Rosslyn Bay Boat Harbour there is a small block of public land behind the Caltex Service Station which the state government is planning to clear, flatten and cover with bitumen.  This is for an additional car/trailer park to be used when the existing carpark is full.  The problem is - the existing carpark is very seldom full. This would cost a million dollars of taxpayers' money, and the block of land would be far better used as a picnic site.
Shady Euroschinus falcata
An old shady Euroschinus falcatus that TMR plan to buldoze
 

Background information:
1.    The parcel of land is described as Lot 129 on CP854911, and has an area of 3886 square metres. It is freehold tenure but owned by the state government.  It is the last area of vacant public land at Rosslyn Bay.  The land is mostly cleared, with a number of large native shady trees. A few of them are very old and quite picturesque. The cleared areas are mainly covered in Guinea Grass, and needs mowing and proper maintenance.  The land was transferred from Dept. of Natural Resources and Mines to Dept. of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in May 2016 for the purpose of turning it into another carpark, because of a perceived shortage of parking space.

2.    In November 2015, in an effort to beautify the area and reduce the amount of Guinea Grass, a large number of community volunteers planted hundreds of native trees in four separate clumps.  This was organised by the then Fitzroy River and Coastal Catchments and other community groups, and was part funded by XXXX at the end of their lease of Pumpkin Island.  In late 2015 and early 2016 other volunteers spend considerable time and effort watering, weeding, mulching and whipper-snipping around these trees in order to give them the best chance of survival.

3.    While Rosslyn Bay has wonderful marine facilities, first class accommodation and restaurants, two sections of the Capricorn Coast National Park, and access to Kemp Beach, the one thing missing is green open space for recreation and relaxation, in natural shade. The only family-friendly space is the northern end of Kemp Beach, but when the tide is high and the SE wind is blowing, it is not very pleasant.  As public green space, with some tables and possibly barbecue facilities, Lot 129 would be an ideal rest area, not just for visitors to Rosslyn Bay, but also for walkers and cyclists on the proposed Coastal Walkway/Bikeway.  The nearest other family-friendly picnic areas are at Lioness Park Lammermoor Beach and at Bluff Point National Park.  Both of these are well used at weekends.

4.    Under the Livingstone Shire Draft Strategic Plan 2016 the subject land is part of a ‘Nature Corridor or Link’ within the ‘Nature Conservation and Open Space’ classified area.

5.    Most of the Rosslyn Bay precinct is already bitumen and allocated to car parking. The area of existing public carpark is about 35,000 square metres not including the Capricornia Cruising Yacht Club’s own carpark.  This caters for 250 car/trailer (double length) spaces and 360 single spaces.   Lot 129 is 3886 sqm. and would only provide about an additional 33 car/trailer spaces.   This would cost $950,000. 

6.    Some of our members have written to TMR on a number of occasions requesting that they (a) provide evidence of how often the existing carpark is full, and (b) if no data exists, to stop the project.  There have also been two meetings with TMR officials, including one with Brittany Lauga MP, Member for Keppel.   In all of the responses, TMR was unable to provide any evidence of how often the existing carpark is full.  In spite of the lack of justification, TMR have not moved to change their plans. It seems that this project had resulted from strong lobbying from the previous State Member for Keppel during the height of the mining boom, and now that the project was on their books, they were determined to go ahead with it, regardless. 

7.   In March 2017 Livingstone Shire Council called for pubilc submissions on this Development Application. About 30 submissions were received, ALL objecting to the carpark.  However LSC's terms of reference only allowed it to consider whether the TMR proposal conformed with the Shire's zoning plan, not on the merits or otherwise of the proposal. LSC was not able to express an opinion on what  land use would be most beneficial for the community as a whole. 

8.   In February 2017, TMR removed all the surviving small trees planted by volunteers in November 2015.  This pre-emptive action shows that even TMR think so little of the Public Submission process that they have assumed their approval of this project by LSC is a forgone conclusion.  Again, this indicates that the Public Submission process is a farce in that TMR intend to take no notice of what the public may think.

9.  As of May 2017, TMR was still has NO DATA whatsoever on how often the existing carpark is full.  After another meeting with TMR officials, TMR released a consultant's study "Queensland Recreational Boating Facilities Demand Forecasting Study
2016
".  This study attempted to determine how many boat ramps and carparks were needed based on boat registrations in every local government area in Qld.  However, this Study was analysed and found to be so full of unjustified assumptions and errors as to make it totally useless.  This Analysis of the 2016 Study can be viewed here.  When this was pointed out to the TMR Minister, his reply dated  included the statement: "TMR has received and released the study, not adopted it."  If this is the case then TMR is still without ANY JUSTIFICATION for the construction of extra carparking.

10. In Jan 2018 TMR issued an update to the Study called
"Queensland Recreational Boating Facilities Demand Forecasting Study
2017"  While it has some minor corrections and updated population projections, it still has not addressed most of the issues raised in the 2016 Analysis document.  The Analysis of the 2017 Study can be viewed here.

In summary the key issues still are:

A. TMR’s stated policy for the provision of infrastructure for recreational boating is to aim to satisfy average demand rather than peak demand . . . Provision is not made by TMR for peak boating periods such as Christmas, Easter, school holidays, and long weekends.

B. TMR's formula for the provision of car/trailer parking spaces is to have 22.5 car/trailer parking spaces for every Boat Ramp Lane.  There are Eight (8) Boat Ramp Lanes at Rosslyn Bay which would justify 180 car/trailer parking spaces. There are already 246 car/trailer parking spaces existing.  TMR then uses an escalation factor of +50% because of the queueing benefit of having a floating walkway, so they claim that the 8 Actual Boat Ramp Lanes should be regarded as 12 Effective Boat Ramp Lanes.  This would require 270 car/trailer parking spaces based on the 1:22.5 formula.  There is no justification in the Study for the 50% escalation factor.   These huge variations in the so-called demand for car/trailer parking spaces, based on an unexplained fudge-factor, make a mockery of this whole theoretical exercise.

C. TMR still has no data on how many days per year the existing carpark has been full.  Despite many requests for records, TMR don't even seem to be interested in this information, instead relying on theoretical office-based numerical studies.

11. It is dissapointing that Livingstone Shire Council (LSC)  is closer to the community that it serves than state govt. departments and therefore has a responsibility not to remain silent on this issue.    Rosslyn Bay is a key feature of the Capricorn Coast, and LSC quite rightly spends considerable time and effort in promoting the attractiveness of the Capricorn Coast to visitors to the region.  It would be remis of councillors not to do everything possible to provide a ‘whole of community’ focus on Rosslyn Bay.

13.   At present this site is an eyesore, making it very unattractive and off-putting for anyone visiting the area.  However with a little bit of vision and forward thinking, what an opportunity it presents to provide a usable and attractive addition to the amenity of Rosslyn Bay for all members of the community.  If this land were to be mown and developed with a few tables and BBQ facilities it is certain that far more people will use this area, far more of the time than if it were to become a last-resort bitumen carpark. 


What can be done?

If you agree that Lot 129 should not be turned into a bitumen carpark that will hardly ever be used, please send an email to Brittany Lauga MP, Member for Keppel at Keppel@parliament.qld.gov.au and to Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, transportandmainroads@ministerial.qld.gov.au   asking them to put a stop to this project. 

Also send an email to LSC at  enquiries@livingstone.qld.gov.au  asking that Councillors take a more active role in stopping this project.  All councillors except the Mayor have given us verbal assurance that they support our stand.  However some are not inclined to take any action because they think it is ‘out of their hands’ as Lot 129 is owned by the state government.