The Queensland Government is set to invest almost $20 million over the next 12 months to improve Gold Coast waterways, with dredging programs and pumping sand via the Sand Bypass System highlighted as key priorities.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said completing dredging of the Coomera River to unlock superyacht access to the Gold Coast Marine Industry precinct, and a $3 million upgrade for the Sand Bypass Jetty were key priorities for the Gold Coast Waterways Authority in the 2019/20 financial year.
“The coast’s waterways are a $26 billion asset supporting the tourism, recreation and marine industries and the thousands of people who work in them.
“As a key boat building and servicing hub on Australia’s east coast, the Gold Coast Marine Industry precinct alone supports two and a half thousand jobs. That’s why we built the $10.3 million dredge management facility at Coomera, and are nearing completion on dredging the Coomera River.”
Mr Bailey said the list of projects would build on initiatives completed in 2018/19, including:
- Dredging of the Canaipa Passage, a key navigation link between Moreton Bay and the Broadwater
- Dredging of the Labrador Channel and the Coomera River downstream between Shipper Drive and the river mouth near Paradise Point and the Sovereign Islands
- Pumping more than 667,000 cubic metres of sand north via the Sand Bypass System keeping the Seaway safe and navigable
- Completion of Stage 4 of Doug Jennings Park bringing the total investment in this public open space to $5.7 million
- Delivery of an expanded compliance program for anchored boats to ensure fair access and compliance with anchoring conditions
- Responding to more than 28 reports of vessel-based oil pollution in line with first-strike response capabilities
Gold Coast Waterways Authority’s CEO, Hal Morris, said the authority was building on the value of that asset through activities like its dredging program, the continuous operation of the Sand Bypass System to keep the Seaway open and assessing and granting permits to use the waterways and foreshores for events.
“People live around, work and play on our waterways, which is why we invest time and money in keeping them safe and navigable,” Mr Morris said.
Mr Morris said that in the coming financial year 2019/20 GCWA will also:
- Commission the pilot solar array at the Sand Bypass System to help reduce electricity bills
- Pump another 500,000 cubic metres of sand north via the Sand Bypass System
- Continue to maintain more than 2,000 buoys, beacons and marine signs under the Aids to Navigation program
- Continue to monitor anchoring and mooring of vessels to ensure fair access to designated areas
- Ensure first-strike pollution response capabilities remain up-to-date