You may have heard reports of the ‘turkey boat’ on the Broadwater.

Working on the waterways, we’ve seen a lot of interesting things, and this is one of the most challenging! We’re well aware of this particular house boat. It first came to our attention in April this year and we immediately made enquiries. It’s been anchored in different locations within the Gold Coast Broadwater, and we’ve been working with both the City of Gold Coast and other State Government departments to do what’s fair for all.

It’s a complex situation that needs an integrated solution for all involved: the owner of the houseboat, the animals involved and the local community.

We’ve well and truly heard all of the feedback and we understand the issues. The question is – which organisation is best placed to achieve the best outcome.

Since first hearing about the house boat, our actions have been as follows:

  1. continued monitoring work to ensure compliance with Gold Coast anchoring restrictions; and
  2. looking into concerns about matters such as marine pollution or noise to find the relevant organisation to assist.


Matter Organisation best placed to handle
Anchoring Gold Coast Waterways Authority has a proactive monitoring program to ensure compliance with Gold Coast anchoring restrictions. Our ongoing compliance work has revealed that the house boat’s master is fully compliant with these restrictions, moving the watercraft within required time limits. Concerns about animals on the house boat are beyond our waterways jurisdiction.
Noise & keeping of animals City of Gold Coast has powers to deal with noise from animals under its Local Law 12 (Animal Management) 2012, but only for animals on land. For more information about this, you visit the City’s Report a problem – Animals page or give them a call on 07 5667 5990.

We have also been advised by the City that local laws officers have spoken to the owner of the animals, advising the owner that the birds must remain contained on the house boat or under effective control, if she intends to bring them onto land.

Vessel sourced pollution Maritime Safety Queensland’s officers have broad powers to deal with vessel-sourced pollution, which includes sewage. After referring this matter to MSQ, we have received advice that MSQ consider the birds are the pets of the house boat owner and that their waste disposal would be similar to any other pets kept on board a boat.

MSQ is responsible for marine pollution investigations under the Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act 1995.

The house boat owner is responsible for the lawful disposal of garbage and other waste from the house boat.

Welfare of the animals RSPCA is the organisation that handles the welfare of animals. When we first heard about the house boat, we made enquiries with RSPCA, to ensure proper care and protection of the animals and compliance with animal cruelty laws.We have been advised by RSPCA that their officers have visited the boat to check on the animals. From what we’re told, we understand the animals are okay.

For further information, please call our office on 0755 397350.