Dredging delays have kept boaties at bay for long enough
TERRY Donoghue has rented a pile mooring in the Rosslyn Bay Harbour since the late 70s, but only this year has he hit rough seas.
The Yeppoon local vacated his 30-foot cruiser on August 25 to make way for triennial dredging at the request of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, who advised the process would take "two to three weeks”.
Two months on, Terry was only permitted back on Saturday.
Moored on Great Keppel Island, Terry said he was personally only left out of pocket a few hundred dollars and a pair of oars, but knew plenty of boaties paying up to $50 a day at other marinas.
Terry said while the initial two to three weeks was acceptable, and matched the timeframe during previous dredging, he believed the State Government needed to offer compensation.
"The overriding thing is this... from us the guys who own the boats on the moorings we pay on average about $1000 a year to use those piles,” he said.
"In the past we have been off for two to three weeks which was acceptable; this time it was two months.
"And I think the Government really owes the owners of the boat some sort of discount for the next mooring fees - two months is a long time particularly when you have to pay extra fees over at the marina.”
Terry approached Keppel MP Brittany Lauga, as did the Capricorn Coast Mirror, resulting in a response from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Ports Mark Bailey.
TMR have shot down any hopes for compensation, stating despite their best efforts, "unavoidable delays” were experienced due to weather and mechanical issues.
Minister for Ports Mark Bailey concurred, and explained the works were aimed at restoring all-tide navigational access for all boaties using the harbour, and involved the entrance channel as well as the public access channels.
"The original advice of two to three weeks work was based on the likely dredge timing itself (for the pile mooring area),” Mr Bailey said.
"However, the vessel relocation process had to commence earlier to ensure the area was cleared in advance of the dredge starting work.
"There have been some delays due to the weather, debris in the dredge area as a result of Tropical Cyclone Marcia and the dredge experienced some mechanical delays.”
TMR has commissioned additional maintenance dredging works in the public channels of the harbour and these dredging works are expected to continue until late December.
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