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Maritimo 2019 HEADER

How is evicting Launching Way going to benefit boaters in Victoria?

by John Willis 10 Feb 14:03 PST
Trevor and Lynette Hogan © John Willis

The Andrews Labor Government gave a strong commitment to the Victorian boating sector at the last election stating defiantly that they would "Make Boating Better!" It's fair to say that they have striven to meet that far reaching target. However there is one glaring elephant in the room!

The Patterson River ramp is the most important in Victoria accommodating over 50,000 launches per annum and servicing hundreds of thousands of trailer boaters throughout the State per year. For the last 25 years it has been ably run by Trevor and Lynette Hogan, the proprietors of Launching Way P/L who with their family and up to a dozen friendly and professional staff service the needs of boaters and manage the often extreme traffic flow.

Yet after constant broken promises and exhaustive attempts at sensible negotiation with their landlords Melbourne Water, Trevor, Lynette and Launching Way P/L have been unceremoniously given their marching orders to vacate the site, ceasing trade on 31st March 2020 with no good will offer, nor settlement arrangements. Even more puzzling is that there has been no attempt to gain from the management expertise that the Hogans have developed over the decades.

These good people have always been the backbone of boating in the region. They have achieved a long history of trouble free management of the facility as well as contributing terrific community work including hosting the popular Mates Day for those less fortunate. Other support is given to Kids With Cancer Family Fishing Event, Fishcare clinics, Parks Victoria Junior Ranger clinics, providing prizes for the Starlight Foundation's charity fundraiser, supporting many local fishing and sporting clubs as well as sitting on important steering committee's for good governance.

We ask Daniel Andrews and the relevant representatives Jaala Pulford (Minister for Fishing and Boating) and Lisa Neville (Minister for Water), how is evicting Launching Way going to benefit boaters in Victoria as per election promises? Evicting Trevor and Lynette breaks that promise!

Local fishing and boating identity John Willis said, "It is Trevor, Lynette and their staff's passion that keeps Launching Way running efficiently. This is not about concrete - it's about community! Politicians be warned, the fishing and boating community is a sleeping giant that will awaken over this issue."

Launching Way was rated Number 1 in the RACV Readers satisfaction survey of ALL boat ramps in Vic! It now seems that the once iconic little Launching Way shop will sit empty and idle until Melbourne Water sort out their mess eliminating professional management, services and income in the meantime.

Willis asked, "How on earth can this Government preach 'Better Boating' without recognising and supporting the excellent service and passion offered by the Hogan's and their staff? They regularly open the doors at 2.00AM to service the fishers during the popular snapper season, plus the ramp is getting busier with the increased popularity of PWC's (Personal Water Craft) and the elimination of boat launching fees. Our blood is boiling over this hypocrisy!"

The Friends of Launching Way say, "Misbelief is turning anger. Trevor and Lynette ARE the best in the business. How is losing them going to benefit boaters as per election promises?"

The only suitable outcome to this debacle is for Daniel Andrews to overturn this stupid decision. We believe they should issue the Hogan's with a suitable lease extension that will enable the business to function as usual until the governance review is completed. This needs to happen NOW!

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