The Coomera River in Queensland is undergoing a multi-million dollar works program, with dredging works commencing following the completion of a sediment management facility.
Minister for Transport and Main Road, Mark Bailey, said the Gold Coast Waterways Authority’s (GCWA’s) Coomera Dredged Sediment Management Facility and Coomera River dredging program is a $10.3 million dollar investment in the marine industry’s future.
“The Marine Precinct supports two and a half thousand jobs and is one of the key boat building and servicing centres on Australia’s east coast. It adds to the 199,000 jobs created under the Palaszczuk Government since 2015,” Mr Bailey said.
“The completion of the sediment management facility allows the waterways authority to dredge navigational channels on the Coomera River between Sanctuary Cove and the Marine Precinct for the first time.
“This will support growth of existing businesses and attract new investment.
“There are already plans by existing businesses to double the number of jobs and create new berthing, storage and maintenance facilities in the precinct.”
GCWA CEO, Hal Morris, said up until now, the authority had not been able to dredge the upper Coomera River because there was no way to deal with the silt found in that part of the river in an economical and environmentally friendly way.
“The material being dredged is too fine and silty to use for beach nourishment or offshore disposal.
“The alternative would’ve been to transport it to somewhere like Brisbane which would’ve been prohibitively expensive.
“Having a facility like this is a game changer for the Gold Coast Marine Industry Precinct, marina operators, waterways users, residents and the Gold Coast economy.
“There’ll be easier access and deeper water, keeping the river safe and navigable for all types of boats, including superyachts up to 60m in length, to come into the precinct.
“Dredging will also improve water flow for flood mitigation,” Mr Morris said.
The Coomera Dredged Sediment Management Facility is the first of its kind on the Gold Coast.
The facility contains a six-hectare settling pond and a two-hectare area where the sediment will be dried out before being available for reuse as topsoil or non-structural fill.
The facility will not only take material dredged under the GCWA’s dredging program but also enables the environmentally sound disposal of river and canal sediment for the City of Gold Coast, businesses in the marine precinct and managers of residential areas like Hope Island and Sanctuary Cove.
GCWA engaged south east Queensland firm Synergy Resource Management to design, construct, operate and maintain the facility following a competitive tender process.
Synergy Resource Management CEO, Andrew Reardon, said 26 direct and indirect jobs were created as a result of the project.
“We’re proud to deliver a local option for processing dredged sediment that’s unsuitable for normal disposal options such as beach or foreshore nourishment.
“Now that the facility is complete, we’re focusing on dredging the Coomera River on behalf of GCWA.
“We recognise the river’s importance to the Gold Coast economy which is why we’ve engaged two contractors to dredge the upper and lower reaches at the same time,” Mr Reardon said.
The City of Gold Coast contributed over $1 million to the dredging of the Coomera River.
Mayor, Tom Tate, said, “This is all about jobs — jobs for the marine industry today, and jobs for our future generation.
“The dredging will open up the precinct for super yachts to arrive for servicing and reprovisioning. Some of these vessel owners spend millions in refurbishment costs alone.
“Those funds flow into our local economy, through employment and supply chains.
“I applaud the Queensland Government for pushing the green light on this important project.’’
Dredging of the river between Sanctuary Cove and the Marine Precinct should be completed in September 2019.