Boaties thrown lifeline
Port moorings to be opened for three more months as stopgap measure
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.