Potholes threaten livelihood of commercial anglers

Commercial anglers Laurie Birks (left)and Craig Wraight say the Brunswick Heads boat ramp road is damaging their boats and placing their livelihoods at risk.
Commercial anglers Laurie Birks (left)and Craig Wraight say the Brunswick Heads boat ramp road is damaging their boats and placing their livelihoods at risk.

COMMERCIAL anglers claim their livelihood is being placed in jeopardy by the deeply potholed road to the Brunswick Heads boat ramp.

They claim the 300m unsealed road used to be graded by Byron Shire Council every four months but there's been no work done on it now for 12 months and it had reached a critically poor state.

As a result they say their boats and trucks are suffering damage including bent axles, smashed tyre rims and broken wheel springs.

Local fisherman Laurie Birks said his three tonne boat had sustained damage after "bottoming out" on potholes and the state of the road was growing worse.

"We rely on this for our income and if we break an axle..," Mr Birks said.

Craig Wraight, a commercial fisherman for eight years, said they had been patient until now as they knew it wasn't entirely council's fault.

"Everyone's aware that it's partly due to all the bad weather but it's getting beyond a joke now," Mr Wraight said.

"It's a danger to the public. You end up on the wrong side of the road to avoid the potholes.

"It doesn't matter what size boat you have it affects every person."

Anglers say they have been told by council there is not the money to fix the road nor could a time frame be given as to when this situation might change.

Council has been contacted for comment.

At peak times the harbour attracts about 80 boat trailers from commercial and recreational fishers to holiday-makers.

Topics:  commerical fishing, potholes



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