“Make It Safe” campaign launched.
A campaign has been launched to “Make It Safe” and fix the Mooloolaba Harbour entrance after a horror weekend of damaged vessels and lives being put at risk.
State MP Fiona Simpson said there was an urgent need to fix the Mooloolaba Harbour entrance, a crisis which had escalated with fishing vessels running aground and even a police vessel requiring special assistance to get out of the harbour over the weekend.
The Member for Maroochydore said she had raised the matter again as a matter of urgent with the Transport Minister Bailey, saying “lives will be lost” unless urgent action is taken.
“There must be a bigger dredge used to get out outside of the entrance and dredge the problem shoals so people can safety get in and out of the Harbour entrance,” Ms Simpson said.
“Coast Guard have told me how a visiting police vessel required their help to safely navigate a way out of the harbour entrance on Sunday. Numerous fishers who are extremely experienced skippers are also telling me tails of horror about coming aground and risking being swamped while navigating the harbour entrance.
“There’s also increasingly stories of other vessels bypassing Mooloolaba – which used to be known as a safe harbour – because of the lack of certainty of safe access in and out. That also has an economic impact to the local industries.
“The pilots who service the Moreton Bay shipping channels also are based out of Mooloolaba Harbour and they are impacted.”
Ms Simpson said that sand shoaling around the entrance and in the bay near the entrance to the harbour had become so bad that vessels were increasingly running aground, with many vessels having to come close to the beach and navigate in at right-angles to the front of the harbour entrance to avoid sand shoals at risk of being capsized by waves.
Footage available through Coast Guard QF6 (see Facebook) and local fishers.
Ms Simpson is urging people with incidents – or near incidents – to lodge their stories on a complaint form[i] and for everyone with a concern to sign the petition[ii] that will be tabled in Queensland Parliament.
“The first priority is for urgent dredging from a bigger dredge to supplement the small dredge.
“The Department of Transport has also been investigating other options for a longer-term fix for the harbour entrance and they need to release all the information they have so this can be fully investigated to get the best solution and involve all stakeholders.”
[i] Link to Incident Form: https://www.fionasimpson.com.au/mooloolaba-harbour-entrance-complaint-form/