Parking issue at Smoky Bay resolved

BOAT RAMP. The boat ramp area at Smoky Bay. The southern side of the approach road has been designated as the space for oyster growers and professional fishers to park their vehicles, with the northern side of the road for recreational fishers, and remaining areas for general use. Photo: Google Maps
BOAT RAMP. The boat ramp area at Smoky Bay. The southern side of the approach road has been designated as the space for oyster growers and professional fishers to park their vehicles, with the northern side of the road for recreational fishers, and remaining areas for general use. Photo: Google Maps

The Ceduna District Council has reversed a decision relating to car parking at the Smoky Bay Boat Ramp and has granted oyster growers and professional fishers dedicated parking space.

Three areas for designated parking have been outlined by the council, following a letter received from the Far West Oyster Zone.

The decision was made at the October council meeting, after the Smoky Bay Oyster Growers requested the council reconsider a decision made earlier in the year.

A resolution in April noted that there were "no dedicated car parking spaces defined at the Smoky Bay Boat Ramp" after incidents in which recreational fishers' vehicles had been interfered with and an unknown person, stating they were a representative of the council, had left notes on vehicles threatening fines if those spaces were used in future.

The council has agreed to designate three areas at the boat ramp - an area on the south side of the approach road for oyster punts and professional fishers, an area to the north side of the approach road designated for recreational fishers, and any remaining areas for general use.

Far West Oyster Zone representative Jo Pocock noted in the letter to the council it was understood it was the action of one person in placing letters on vehicles and that other growers did not sanction that occurring.

"The actions of the individual (a non-resident grower) are not condoned by other growers, and it does not reflect the upstanding, respectful, and committed nature of the overwhelming majority of growers in Smoky Bay. It is disappointing to us," the letter read.

She also stated they were sorry such action occurred, which was the "regrettable behaviour" that resulted in the now-reversed parking decision.

Ms Pocock said this had formalised the parking situation that had existed informally for a number of years, and was an opportunity to work with the council to give certainty to recreational fishers, ensuring everybody "can get a fair outcome".

Smoky Bay-based councillor Geoff Ryan said it would be beneficial for the local growers, with oyster punts coming in and out of the water throughout the day.

Ms Pocock wrote in the letter that efficient parking was essential to daily operations.

"As is already the case in peak holiday seasons, significant time is lost whilst waiting for recreational fishers to launch vessels," she wrote.

"Parking a considerable distance away further exacerbates lost time which is potential lost income."