The latest figures from Queensland’s ‘War on Wrecks’ program are in, and it’s not a great result for the Gold Coast.
Approximately 226 vessels have been removed from waters around the state since September 2018, though 64 of those vessels were on the Gold Coast.
That means the coast accounts for over a quarter of derelict boats in the state, with the Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) removing trawlers, yachts, houseboats, tinnies and jet skis over the last year.
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GCWA CEO, Hal Morris, says the program has proved useful, but there’s more work to be done in this space.
“The War on Wrecks program has given us the extra resources needed to tackle this problem of abandoned vessels.
“Removing these vessels is an important first step.
“Next, we will work with Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) to update the rules and regulations to stop vessels becoming wrecks in the first place.
“We need to look at the rules about anchoring, mooring, sewage, seaworthiness and licensing of vessels and crew,” Mr Morris said.
Mr Morris said in the coming year the War on Wrecks will be taken to the next level with boat owners reminded that their boat is their responsibility.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pick up the bill every time someone dumps an unseaworthy vessel.
“We’ll be working with MSQ to recover costs from vessel owners wherever possible.
‘Patrols of the waterways are being conducted to identify any vessels that could become derelict and owners are being put on notice to take early action before their vessels become a hazard to navigation or the environment,” Mr Morris said.
It’s understood some of the removed vessels have even been advertised for sale, with the proceeds to defray some of the coast incurred by taxpayers.