AHOY THERE!

Boat launch opens up new pos­si­bil­i­ties for rangers

The Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

WITH the launch of its first Glad­stone-based ves­sel yes­ter­day morn­ing, a Gi­dar­jil man­ager said the or­gan­i­sa­tion would look to in­crease the num­ber of sea rangers op­er­at­ing from Glad­stone.

Af­ter a few teething prob­lems, Gi­dar­jil De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion staff suc­cess­fully launched a nine-me­tre rigid hull in­flat­able, the Spirit of Port

Cur­tis from the Glad­stone ma­rina.

Tom Os­borne, sea ranger man­ager for Gi­dar­jil Glad­stone, said the boat would make a big dif­fer­ence to what Gi­dar­jil rangers could do.

“We ex­pect this boat will dou­ble our ca­pac­ity to ad­dress marine stud­ies, sur­veys, Tur­tle Watch and Man­grove Watch in this whole Glad­stone area,” he said.

“Now that we’ve got this boat, we will be vig­or­ously pur­su­ing more rangers.”

A re­cent ar­ti­cle pub­lished by not-for-profit me­dia out­let The Con­ver­sa­tion, said Queens­land had only a small num­ber of indige­nous rangers rel­a­tive to its size.

Mr Os­borne agreed this was an is­sue.

“It’s early days yet but we be­lieve you would need an­other four or five rangers in Glad­stone alone to ef­fec­tively carry out the work we need to do,” he said.

“Our in­ten­tion is to en­gage as many tra­di­tional own­ers as we can in the sea ranger ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Pre­vi­ously Gi­dar­jil’s sea rangers have re­lied on the Queens­land Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice to carry out their marine mon­i­tor­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

David Kopelke has put up his hand to skip­per the

Spirit of Port Cur­tis un­til Gi­dar­jil rangers com­plet train­ing.

Prin­ci­pal of the Boyne Is­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, Mr Kopelke said it was “ex­cit­ing” to see the boat launched af­ter be­ing out of the water for a year.

“We tested ev­ery­thing yes­ter­day, I def­i­nitely wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t con­fi­dent,” he said.

PHOTO: MIKE RICHARDS GLA150218BOAT

MARINE MON­I­TOR: Skip­per David Kopelke launches the Spirit of Port Cur­tis.

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