Gold Coast accounts for over a quarter of boats removed under the War on Wrecks

A local focus on removing abandoned boats from the waterways is paying off, with the Gold Coast accounting for more than a quarter of the vessels managed under the War on Wrecks campaign so far.

Gold Coast Waterways Authority CEO, Hal Morris, said that of the 226 vessels removed since the state-wide program was launched in September last year, 64 abandoned vessels and pieces of property had come out of Gold Coast waterways.

‘The War on Wrecks program has given us the extra resources needed to tackle this problem of abandoned vessels.

Mr Morris said it’s important to address the cause as well as the symptoms.

‘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.’

So far, GCWA has removed trawlers, yachts, houseboats, tinnies and jet skis from Gold Coast waterways.

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 the GCWA had recently advertised four vessels removed through the War on Wrecks for sale, with the proceeds to defray some of the costs incurred by taxpayers.

To report a derelict vessel, email WarOnWrecks@msq.qld.gov.au or contact the Gold Coast Waterways Authority on 5539 7350.