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Boat ramp to test Maribyrnong serenity
Boat ramp to test Maribyrnong serenity

The state government is testing the community’s appetite for a significant increase in motor-powered boats on the Maribyrnong River.

Community consultation has started on plans to build a public boat ramp and car and trailer parking facility on the river at Ascot Vale. See the concept plan here.

The development would require the relocation of the Maribyrnong Trail on that side of the river, around the facility.

The $1.6M facility would be sited at the bottom of Newsom Street, near the laminated wooden footbridge that provides the active transport link over the river to Highpoint and nearby education and recreation facilities.

The ramp would be the first on the river and would be part of what the government describes as its “unprecedented investment to improve boating in Victoria.”

“Several options were investigated throughout the 18 months of preliminary planning works, with the Newsom Street site chosen given its proximity to a wide stretch of the river and location amid a recreational precinct away from residents,” the government says.

“The Maribyrnong River currently caters for kayaks and smaller craft but has no dedicated boating facilities. The ramp will provide recreational boaters with access to the popular fishing spot with species such as bream, estuary perch and mullet.”

The river through this zone has until now been relatively serene and quiet.

There is a trail on both sides of the river with plenty of walkers and bike riders, and rowing clubs are based up and down river.

One issue of concern is that Newsom Street for most of its length is the recommended bike connection from Epson Road and provides the link to the bridge over the Pipe Makers Park on the other side of the river.

Should the biking facility be approved, bikes would be sharing the narrow street with wide boat trailers towed by heavy duty vehicles.

The City of Moonee Valley should be having a very close look at this matter as it may have to develop an alternative route through the area for riders.

Fortunately consultation is now open.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.