Work is underway on better long-term fix to the shoaling problems at the Mooloolaba Harbour entrance, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson announced today.
Ms Simpson said that both boaties and beach lovers will be pleased to hear that new contracts have been awarded for additional work to make the dredging and beach replenishment works more effective.
Rough weather has previously hampered dredging efforts with several boaties and even the larger Port Frederick dredge falling victim to the treacherous conditions at the sand bar.
“The Saibai dredge and the larger Port Frederick have worked hard to maintain a safe navigational channel for our recreational and commercial boaties,” Ms Simpson said.
“But as they can only operate during calm weather, dredging efforts are continually being hampered by rough seas.”
“I have campaigned for better long-term maintenance options to ensure the safety of our recreational and commercial boaties and to help the ongoing replenishment of Mooloolaba Beach,” Ms Simpson said.
“The good news is that a new sand-shifting device which can operate in rough conditions is about to be trialled for six months commencing mid July,” Ms Simpson said.
Ms Simpson said that contracts had now been awarded for a six month trial of a new sand-shifting device which can also operate in rough seas and for the design and costing of a permanent submerged pipeline to pump sand onto Mooloolaba beach.
The sand shifter will be buried off the end of the eastern breakwater and it will suck up sand moving around Point Cartwright before it moves into the navigation channel. Sand will be pumped via a temporary submerged pipeline onto Mooloolaba Beach.
A temporary pumping station will be located in shipping containers on State boat harbour land close to the end of the eastern breakwater wall. The pump is expected to operate for short periods of time during daylight hours with minimal noise intrusion.
“I am working together with Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie as the Mooloolah River borders both the Kawana and Maroochydore Electorates,” Ms Simpson said.
“On completion of the 6 month trial, a decision will be made about whether this is a long-term option as part of ongoing maintenance programs.”
In addition to this, Hall Contracting Pty Ltd has also been commissioned to design and cost a permanent submerged pipeline beneath the harbour entrance to facilitate the continued operation of the Saibai dredge from the eastern breakwater.
“If this is cost effective, this could increase the efficiency of long-term dredging by impacting less on boating traffic entering and leaving the harbour and the pumped sand would continue to help the beach replenishment works at Mooloolaba,” Ms Simpson said.
“I’ve lobbied hard for a better long-term fix to the problems in this area and this is a win-win solution. It’s a win for boaties and a win for beach lovers too!” Ms Simpson said.
Dredging Today Staff, July 2, 2012; Image: hallcontracting