Australia: Finally Good News for Mooloolaba Harbour Entrance

After extreme rough weather over the last few weeks which belted the Sunshine Coast shoreline, there is some good news at Mooloolaba Harbour entrance.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said local company Hall’s Contracting had successfully cut through the sand shoal which came around Point Cartwright during cyclonic conditions and deposited in the channel.

The ocean going dredge, the Port Frederick, has also arrived last week to remove the rest of the sand shoal.

“Understanding this has been an extreme weather event, I am very pleased with how quickly the Transport Department and dredging operations have mobilised to improve the safety of this harbour as soon as the conditions allowed it,” Ms Simpson said.

She said that last week the channel was about 1.8m deep which was still navigable for smaller boats taking due care. After dredging, that has further improved to 2.5m. The weather was still too rough for even the survey boat to assess the conditions until Monday of last week.

“They’ve all done a good job and I thank them for their efforts.”

The treacherous weather event also caused substantial beach erosion and damage to infrastructure along the spit and Mooloolaba Beach, including destroying the Lifeguard Tower at Mooloolaba SLSC.

Hall’s cutter suction dredge also had the advantage of pumping sand on to the beach to help with replenishment.

The State Government ordered local dredging company Hall Contracting to commence dredging of the entrance channel and to pump sand onto the beach as soon as conditions allowed. With the dredge being locally available has meant that the State Government has been able to react very quickly to this situation.

“This is a great credit to the foresight and planning of Marine Safety Qld Engineers working hand in hand with a local contractor.”

Starting on Wednesday when the swell dropped enough, Hall mobilised the Cutter Suction Dredge “Navua” to the river entrance and dredged long hours to reinstate a safe channel. Starting at 4am and working into the evening, Hall last night was able to create a safe channel down to 2.5m below lowest tide level on the western side. As an added benefit, using the permanent pipeline buried in the beach, more than 2500 cubic metres of sand has been placed back on to the beaches to restore this popular tourist beach.

Work will continue on the Eastern Channel, and aided by the Hopper Dredge “Port Frederick” dredging the outer limits, the river mouth is quickly being restored.

Press Release, February 12, 2013

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