Under the War on Wrecks program, 13 derelict vessels which posed a hazard to users of Torres Strait waterways, by potentially drifting or breaking apart in bad weather, were earmarked for removal.
Their removal was put out to tender as a single contract to achieve cost savings and economies of scale.
The contract was won by a local company, Carpentaria Contracting, that employs staff and sub-contractors in Cairns and Cape York with well-established contacts in local communities.
The company has worked with Traditional Owners and Torres Strait island councils, using local companies for fuel and other services needed to complete it.
Removal of derelict vessels can be a complicated process. In this case, each of the 13 vessels posed its own unique set of challenges based on its type, size, relative state of decay and location.
Despite this, Carpentaria Contracting has made the most of recent weather windows and worked quickly, with works likely to be completed well ahead of schedule. Click here to see what has been removed so far.
MSQ has monitored the works to ensure required safety standards are met and has advised local boating traffic of the activity.
While MSQ steps in to remove wrecks when no owner can be found, it remains the responsibility of vessel owners to maintain their vessels to the necessary standard, and dispose of them if necessary to ensure they do not become hazards to navigation or the environment.
When we need to take action to remove vessels ourselves, we will use our regulatory powers to seek cost recovery from owners through the courts.
Completion of the Torres Strait project will bring the total number of vessels removed from Queensland waters under the War on Wrecks program to more than 770.