$ 2.2m Yasi repair bill for port pylons
THE cost of repairing damage to Townsville port sustained during Cyclone Yasi is half the initial estimated amount.
It will cost $ 2.2 m to fix at least three channel markers leading into the port and navigation aids.
Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure Minister and Member for Thuringowa Craig Wallace surveyed the damage yesterday and said it was good to see it first-hand.
Waves up to 9m high damaged the equipment and Mr Wallace said he fast-tracked the design and tenders so t h e ma r k e r s wo u l d b e replaced and reinstated by the end of next month.
‘‘ This is a priority and we need new ones to withstand higher waves than the last ones. They will also operate 24 hours a day when the previous ones were only at night,’’ Mr Wallace said.
They would have a longer battery life and enable better lighting of the channel.
‘‘ These were the strongest winds and waves the port has experienced since Cyclone Althea in 1971.’’
Mr Wallace said it was imperative these specialised pieces of navigation equipment were put back in the exact spot they were before Cyclone Yasi hit.
‘‘ The ladders that were part of the navigation aids have been twisted around like a piece of tin foil,’’ Mr Wallace said.
A M a r i t i m e S a f e t y Q u e e n s l a n d s p o k e s ma n said deep draft bulk carriers could not use the port at night until the sea lead navigational aids were repaired.
The two ‘‘ sea leads’’ pylons were used to find the centre of the channel and without them, it made it difficult, he said.
‘ ‘ I t ’ s c h a l l e n g i n g t o replace these out at sea,’’ he said.
‘‘ These sea leads give the bulk carriers the best run at the channel.
‘‘ The pilots are experienced with these movements but they do need those lights at night.’’
Mr Wallace said during yesterday’s survey of the port, he noticed the trees which were deposited into the channel from the cyclone were cleared out and Cannington Port facility had major damage to their navigational boys. STORM DAMAGE: Member for Thuringowa Craig Wallace and Maritime Safety Queensland area manager Stephen Knowles inspect a navigation pylon