Port Stephens Council to spend $2 million on new, longer boat ramp at Little Beach, plus $70k on aquatic structures strategy

BIG PLANS: Little Beach boat ramp in Nelson Bay will undergo a $2 million upgrade, which will include extending and raising the ramp.
BIG PLANS: Little Beach boat ramp in Nelson Bay will undergo a $2 million upgrade, which will include extending and raising the ramp.

The heavily used Little Beach boat ramp in Nelson Bay is slated for a $2 million upgrade while further funding will be pumped into developing a strategy to make the Port's waterways more accessible.

Plans for the boat ramp upgrade will now be developed by Port Stephens Council after it was granted $1,671,000 for the project through the NSW Government's Boating Now program.

The council will contribute a further $430,000 to the project.

The $2m will be used to upgrade the existing facilities at Little Beach boat ramp.

This will include the construction of a new raised and longer boat ramp, accessible toilet amenities, improved pathways and car park.

Port Stephens fishing identity John 'Stinker' Clarke welcomed the funding news, saying the plans were a "great idea" and fixed one of the two major problems boating enthusiasts had long talked about when using the ramp.

"The sand build up and getting bogged is one of the major problems at Little Beach, which raising and extending the ramp will fix. But it won't fix the problem of being unable to launch when a westerly wind is blowing," he said.

The council was granted an additional $70,000 to develop the Port Stephens Aquatic Structures Strategy to plan for the "safe and sustainable access of Port Stephens' waterways and grow tourism, commercial fishing and aquaculture".

The council said it will now work on creating a "detailed design of this complex and environmentally sensitive project".

The community will be consulted once initial plans had been developed. Upgrade works will be timed to avoid peak boating season to limit disruption.