Maritime Safety Queensland War on Wrecks program sees 100 vessels removed or cleaned up, made seaworthy by owners in Redlands

WRECKED: Contractors Maritime Recovery Group remove an abandoned vessel as part of the War on Wrecks taskforce operation. File photo: Maritime Recovery Group
WRECKED: Contractors Maritime Recovery Group remove an abandoned vessel as part of the War on Wrecks taskforce operation. File photo: Maritime Recovery Group

MORE than 609 wrecks and derelict vessels have been removed from Queensland waters since mid-2018.

Maritime Safety Queensland War on Wrecks taskforce chairman and Redlands MP Kim Richards said the War on Wrecks program has been a huge success in the Redlands in terms of cleaning up local waterways.

Ms Richards said since the program was launched, a total of 100 vessels in the Redland City local government area had been removed from the water or cleaned up and made seaworthy by their owners.

"In Redlands and on the Gold Coast, we've removed or resolved issues with derelict or abandoned boats more than in any other part of Queensland," she said.

Ms Richards said the War on Wrecks has been a reliable source of work for local marine businesses too.

"There's at least a few jobs created by each individual salvage project, and those marine businesses in turn use local equipment hire for bobcats and other machinery, while scrapyards reap the benefits of dismantling the boats.

"One job can also make a huge difference in local waterways, in terms or removing navigation hazards in a local creek or inlet to make it cleaner and safer," she said.

There are almost 265,000 registered vessels in Queensland.

"We need to look at what policy levers we can pull to get to the root of the issue of people abandoning boats when they become too much of a financial burden for them to manage," Ms Richards said.

The War on Wrecks taskforce has made suggestions for the government to consider, including working with local government and industry to make it more affordable and simpler for owners to dispose of vessels.

"The next step for us is to hear from Queenslanders again, particularly the boat owners, about what approaches will work best to support people to be more responsible and accountable boat owners," she said.

Community meetings will be held around the state in the next couple of months to discuss what kind of initiatives they think could create a stronger culture of responsible boat ownership.

There will be a consultation forum in Wynnum on Saturday September 12.

Register for Wynnum - Saturday 12 September