The Qld State Government has spent over $7.6million removing derelict and illegally dumped vessels from Queensland waterways in the past two years.
With $20million committed over four years, the War on Wrecks Taskforce has removed 659 wrecks and derelicts from Queensland waters, with another 300 vessels identified as at risk.
The Caboolture River is just one of the waterways benefiting from that spending with one more boat being removed in early November.
The sloop, a single masted sail boat, identified some years ago as an unattended vessel requiring attention, dragged its anchor in recent high tides and ended up stranded on the sandbar at Bakers Flat.
This boat had been anchored near Mosquito Island in the Caboolture River for at least two years prior to that after being found floating abandoned in the river.
The Caboolture River has had a number of boats identified for removal, including a boat in September 2019 which was included in the popular TV show “Towies”.
A spokesman for TMR said that while some boats are abandoned due to due to damage from an accident, most boats become derelict or abandoned when owners don’t have the finances or the skills to maintain or repair their vessel.
The War on Wrecks Taskforce is run by the Department of Transport and Main Roads and is comprised of Parliamentary and industry representatives. As well as a program to remove unseaworthy and derelict vessels from bays, rivers and creeks, the Taskforce makes recommendations to the Government in an effort to reduce vessel abandonment and create a culture of responsible boat ownership in Queensland.
One of the Taskforce’s recommendations is to introduce a Responsible Boat Ownership strategy to prevent vessels from becoming derelict and ensuring adequate and sustainable funding is available to remove illegal dumped vessels where necessary. They will also consider other issues such as management of moorings, live-aboard vessels and marine infrastructure to improve the overall safety, cleanliness and amenity of our waterways.
The Taskforce is also considering a number of recommendations to the Government including changing the way new and used boat dealers are regulated; introducing a vessel identification scheme regardless of size, engine power or intended use; reviewing registration of vessels and licencing requirements and introducing ongoing safety inspections.
Other recommendations will look at reviewing the adequacy of regulations for prosecution of owners illegally dumping vessels and reducing the fees, charges and “red tape” of legally disposing of vessels.
If you know of the location of an unseaworthy vessel that is a danger to navigation or a threat to the environment, or you think you can help with suggestions to prevent vessels becoming derelict and abandoned, email the team at War On Wrecks at email@example.com.