The Shire of Irwin has received a more than $130,000 grant to design upgrades to the Port Denison boat ramp. The Shire of Irwin has plans for a nearly $650,000 upgrade to the facility surrounding the boat ramp, improving signage and garden beds, adding trees and shelters to provide shade, and conducting repairs to the surface. It comes as part of a $1.5 million package from the State Government’s Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme, through which local governments can apply for up to 75 per cent of the cost of projects. However, this grant is to cover the cost of hiring designers for the planned facility, and does not take into account construction costs. “Boating is an increasingly popular recreational activity and the scheme, introduced in 1998, allows boat owners to directly contribute as it is partly funded from boat registration fees,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said. Agricultural Region MLC Sandra Carr said “the ocean is such an important part of our local Moore community; safe and easy access for boat launching in Port Denison is a big part of this”. “This funding will begin the process to improve access to the ocean, and make it easier and safer for more of our community to access everything our ocean has to offer,” she said.