New boat pen works signals next step in Carnarvon Fascine Entryway Project

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
The Fascine - Carnarvon's central waterway - is lined with palm trees.
Camera IconThe Fascine - Carnarvon's central waterway - is lined with palm trees. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Works to improve boating access at Carnarvon’s Fascine have generated mixed responses from the community.

Construction has started on 16 new floating boat pens at Carnarvon Boat Harbour, which will allow Carnarvon Yacht Club members to moor their vessels outside of the marina while work on the Fascine continues.

Access to the Fascine started deteriorating in April 2017 when a severe storm caused a sandbar to encroach on its navigational channel entrance.

A community protest was staged in January 2020 to demand a solution be found, with the State Government later pledging $7 million to the Fascine Entryway Project to improve ocean access for commercial and recreational vessels.

Of the funding, $2.1 million was allocated to the construction of the boat pens. But Member for North West Central Vince Catania said this was not the long-term solution the community required.

A community protest against blocked access to the fascine on January 20 2020.
Picture: Vince Catania
Camera IconA community protest against blocked access to the fascine on January 20 2020. Vince Catania Credit: Vince Catania/Supplied

“With no-one able to ‘get in or out’ (of the Fascine) for years or fully-utilise existing facilities, clearly the importance of the remediation of the waterway, a fundamental part of the town’s water-based tourism and recreation offering continues to land in the Government’s ‘too hard’ basket,” Mr Catania said.

“Something which happened in April 2017 would have been fixed immediately if in Perth.

“At a time when businesses and community groups need help and support it’s staggering the Government can’t see the urgency and multiple reasons around the need to unblock the Fascine entrance now.”

But Carnarvon Yacht Club vice commodore Shane Seers said the boat pens were a welcome step forward in restoring year-round access to the Fascine.

“We have to give the (State Government) a little bit of a fair go — this has been years in the making and we don’t want to jeopardise anything now,” Mr Seers said.

“The Fascine potentially is a big money earner for the town. Prior to the closure, that Fascine used to be full of yachts coming up and down the coast.

“We envisage we will be back to that sort of lifestyle in 2022 or 2023.”

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