Craig McGovern of the Pelican Boat Hire is keen to see action taken on the Noosa River's rotting hulks. PHOTO: Peter Gardiner
Craig McGovern of the Pelican Boat Hire is keen to see action taken on the Noosa River's rotting hulks. PHOTO: Peter Gardiner

WAR ON WRECKS: Heave ho for river’s rotting hulks

It’s a case of one rotting Noosa River hulk removed, more to go according to Noosa Commercial Boatman’s Association spokesman Craig McGovern.

Abandoned, unsightly and unsafe houseboats have been a bone of contention with the Noosa community for decades and Mr McGovern is delighted with the State Government’s declaration of war on wrecks.

The government committed $20 million in July 2018 towards removing derelict and illegally dumped vessels.

It has set up a taskforce which will be holding a community forum at Peppers Noosa Resort next Saturday to discuss what further actions Noosa residents want instigated.

“We certainly welcome the state funding the removal of hulks from any river because it’s all over Queensland,” Mr McGovern said.

“They’re a danger and they’re polluting the river and they end up getting vandalised and the tinny rats get on them and make it worse.

“They just needed to prioritise funding for it, so that’s a good thing.”

He said one hulk was recently removed from behind Goat Island.

That unsightly sinking look and feel to the river.
That unsightly sinking look and feel to the river.

“It was half sunk and derelict and sat there for a year or two … it had been vandalised, so they did fund the removal of that,” Mr McGovern said.

“There’a certainly a couple (more) derelict boats on the river, whether they have an owner I don’t know.”

He believed the new Maritime Safety Queensland appointed officer to Noosa was auditing the hulks and “working out which ones are the worst”.

Mr McGovern said it was difficult to determine who owned some of the old boats and who should pay for their removal.

This houseboat has seen better days.
This houseboat has seen better days.

“I think there’s quite a big legal process for them to do it,” he said.

“I think it’s an issue on every waterway in the world, it’s not unique to Noosa.”

Mr McGovern said old boats that didn’t have working engines didn’t need to be registered and even registered vessels did not have to be insured.

He was also keen for the rotting hulks problem to be addressed by the Noosa River Plan which he said needed to be finalised as a Noosa Council priority after proper consultation.

Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton said the Noosa consultation by the War on Wrecks Taskforce was part of ongoing efforts in achieving a cleaner and safer river.

Bookings for the free event to run from 10.30am to 12pm can be made at:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/war-on-wrecks-taskforce-noosa-community-forum-tickets-112888630934