Boat­ies thrown life­line

Port moor­ings to be opened for three more months as stop­gap mea­sure

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

BOAT­IES us­ing moor­ings in Ross Creek and Ross River, who were set to be kicked out by the Port of Townsville to­day, have been given an 11thhour re­prieve.

The port has now ex­tended the boat­ies’ oc­cu­pancy for another three months af­ter a num­ber of boat own­ers failed to find new moor­ings.

The port is ceas­ing its moor­ing oper­a­tions be­cause it no longer owns much of the land ad­ja­cent to the moor­ings af­ter sales to Townsville City Coun­cil and Char­ter Boat Ma­rina in re­cent years.

Boat owner Ian Clarke said he would have to pay up to $ 14,000 to use a mul­ti­hull berth at a ma­rina and hoped he could stay at his cur­rent berth in Ross Creek.

Mr Clarke, who pays more than $ 2000 a year to use the port’s moor­ings, said he couldn’t use the new $ 35 mil­lion Townsville Recre­ational Boating Park in Ross River be­cause his 8m sail­ing boat was too tall for the Port Ac­cess Rd bridge.

“MSQ has ob­vi­ously iden­ti­fied a need for fa­cil­i­ties for six-masted sail boats that can’t use the Ross River due to the height of the bridge,” he said.

“I think the Port was very keen to rush through things with­out let­ting peo­ple know.

“Townsville only has two wa­ter­ways – Ross River or Ross Creek – and sadly due to not a lot of fore­sight be­cause of the Port Ac­cess Rd bridge, we are re­stricted.”

Port chief ex­ec­u­tive Ra­nee Crosby said the 17 oc­cu­pants of the Ross Creek buoy moor­ings and the six oc­cu­pants of the Ross River pile moor­ings were given three months’ no­tice ear­lier this year, but the port had now de­cided to give them another three months.

“Fees for the moor­ings have been waived for this du­ra­tion,” Ms Crosby said.

A spokesman for Mar­itime Safety Queens­land said boat own­ers were re­spon­si­ble for find­ing new moor­ings.

“The de­ci­sion to with­draw the moor­ings ap­proval … was made by the Port of Townsville, which has ex­tended this pe­riod to 30 Septem­ber 2015,” the spokesman said.

How the Bul­letin has re­ported the plan to move on boat­ies.

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