CQ club struggles to stay afloat in the drought
A CENTRAL Queensland sporting club is struggling to stay afloat with the Fairbairn Dam reaching an all-time low since it was constructed in 1972.
The water level was recorded today at 10.9 per cent or about 141,000mL.
Maraboon Power Boat and Ski Club, which is based at the dam, can no longer launch boats from the club because of the low water level and the soft mud along the shore.
It recently built a dock, and president Shane Jensen said that without it they wouldn’t be able to ski.
“We can’t launch a boat anymore because you can’t drive close enough to the water because of the mud,” he said.
“You can still launch a boat from the public area, that’s what we have to use but I don’t know how much longer we will be able to do that for.”
Mr Jensen even said Santa was sinking into the mud when he was walking around visiting club members at their Christmas party recently.
Some areas throughout the skiing area have recorded a depth of about 2.5m, whereas Mr Jensen said they normally had close to five or six meters.
He said they had to take out old picket fences and stumps that were showing as the water level continued to drop.
“It is a safety hazard, but we have working bees to reduce under water hazards,” Mr Jensen said.
“There’s also a lot of regrowth in areas that could be a hazard when the water does come up.”
Mr Jensen said a lot of people were travelling to Blackwater to use the Bedford Weir and the club had lost memberships.
More than half of Queensland is struggling with dry conditions, with 67.4 per cent of the state now officially in drought and the summer outlook showing little sign of relief.
Bureau of Meteorology long-range forecaster Dr Andrew Watkins said it was not good news for Queensland, with an “above 80 per cent” chance the state would be drier and warmer than average.
BOM said the dire predictions meant residents needed to stay alert for potential catastrophic weather events, with “an increased risk of heatwaves occurring during this summer”.
“We’ve already seen significant bushfire activity during spring, and the outlook for drier and warmer than average conditions will maintain that heightened risk over the coming months,” Dr Watkins said.
“This outlook also means the risk of heatwaves is increased, so it’s important the community stays up to date with the latest information and advice from authorities and the bureau’s heatwave forecasts and warnings.”