Hastings Electorate - Coastal Villages

HANSARD: Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (3892) – HASTINGS ELECTORATE

My question is directed to the Minister for Fishing and Boating, and the information I seek on behalf of the coastal village community of Warneet is about assistance to reopen the Warneet jetties before the summer season.

I wrote to the minister on 3 August asking for an explanation of why on 4 June 2020 both the Warneet North and Warneet South jetties had been so suddenly closed. I thank the minister for her reply and for advising that the closures were in the interests of public safety.

Regrettably, however, the minister failed to say why the government had allowed these two important public jetties to deteriorate to such a state that they became unsafe and why no effort had been made to maintain them to a safe standard.

The minister’s letter failed to say why in the ensuing three months no work has been performed to try and reopen these jetties before the summer season or provide any indication of when funding would be made available to repair these two important pieces of community infrastructure.

One of the great benefits of living in a coastal village like Warneet is access to the water, and Warneet residents are bitterly disappointed that the state government chose to close their jetties with no warning or explanation and with no effort being made to reopen them.

Today I am asking that the minister seek urgent advice from her department regarding the opportunity of performing interim repairs on at least one of the jetties to allow its safe use by the public over the busy summer months.

A responsible approach would have been to perform an upgrade on one of the jetties before either became unsafe and then reopen it before repairing the other. A government that understood and cared about the needs of Warneet residents would have upgraded at least one of the jetties over the winter months.

These jetties are important assets for the coastal villages. They attract great numbers of boating and fishing enthusiasts over the summer and also generate vital income for local small businesses.

I urgently seek the minister’s assistance with this important matter.