Car­pen­ter won’t tyre of an­nual clean-up

The Weekend Post - - News -

sea­walls on six is­lands was swal­lowed up by the Saibai project.

Le­ich­hardt MP War­ren Entsch said he was dumb­founded when he heard the dis­pute between the con­trac­tor and the Badu Is­land Foun­da­tion, which op­er­ates the quarry, meant rocks had been im­ported from Cairns.

“I’ve known about it for quite a long time,” he said. “I just shook my head in dis­be­lief.

“I don’t think tax­pay­ers will be happy to have to pay that mas­sive ex­tra price.”

With le­gal talks on­go­ing, Mr Entsch said a quick, cheap and ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion was needed to safe­guard re­main­ing is­lands from ris­ing sea lev­els.

Indige­nous Af­fairs Min­is­ter Nigel Scul­lion has given the all-clear for a group in­clud­ing a TSIRC en­gi­neer to visit the Co­cos Is­lands, where Mr Entsch had wit­nessed the suc­cess of sand­bag­ging to cre­ate work­ing sea­walls.

“All they need are empty sand­bags and ge­o­fab­ric, a sand pump and an ex­ca­va­tor or back­hoe to scratch down to the sur­face,” he said.

“Once that’s in place, they can train some­one up there to op­er­ate ev­ery thing — there’s an op­por­tu­nity for some­one to run a mi­crobusi­ness.

“Once they buy that sand pump, it’s very easy to move from is­land to is­land and there is al­ways go­ing to be on­go­ing main­te­nance.”

Mr Entsch said he be­lieved the sand­bag sys­tem would work on any of the cen­tral Tor­res Strait Is­lands ex­cept Saibai and Boigu, due to their mud foun­da­tions.

TSIRC has al­ready started work on the Boigu wall with the $1.1 mil­lion left­over af­ter the Saibai price blowout.

UP­BEAT: Wil­liam Mareko makes colour­ful gar­den or­na­ments out of used car tyres. Pic­ture: CHRIS CALCINO

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