4 Dec 2017

Severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie had a sting in the tail for the breakwaters at the Port of Mackay.

North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) General Manager Engineering and Development Rochelle Macdonald said initial assessments indicated the breakwaters had escaped the worst of the storm with minimal damage.

“Further investigations, including 3D laser scanning, revealed the damage was worse than first thought.

“The Southern Breakwater in particular has suffered damage to the slope facing the sea.”

“Like so many others in the region, TC Cyclone Debbie delivered a powerful blow to our east coast operations,” Dr Macdonald said.

“While there is no question about the safety of the breakwaters, repairs are essential to ensure their integrity for future cyclone seasons.”

Dr Macdonald said due to the nature of the works traffic, including cars and motorbikes, will be unable to access the Southern Breakwater during the repairs.

“Works are due to start in January. Our target is to have the repairs completed by the end of 2018.

“We know how much the breakwater means to the people of Mackay. It’s where so many people come to enjoy a walk, cycle or drive and take in the magnificent views,” Dr Macdonald said.

“That’s why NQBP will work with the successful tenderers to ensure the breakwater remains open to pedestrians and cyclists during the repairs.

“There may be times access will need to be fully restricted for safety reasons. However, public access for pedestrians and cyclists is a priority.”

“The Mackay harbour precinct is a wonderful asset for the people of Mackay. We are working with businesses to minimise any impacts from the works,” Dr Macdonald said.

“During the works, we will get the word out loud and clear that the Mackay harbour precinct remains open for business.

“We thank you for your patience and understanding while we carry out the repairs.”

Dr Macdonald said NQBP will keep the community informed about the project’s progress.

“Visit our website and social media channels for the latest information.

“It’s important to understand the breakwater’s primary function is to provide a level of protection to the port and marina.

“Unfortunately, due the fierce and unpredictable nature of tropical cyclones, maintenance and repairs to breakwaters will continue to be required for many years to come.

“The project includes the supply and placement of 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes of rock for all three breakwaters.”

This is estimated to cost approximately $12M with the tender process to be finalised in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the NQBP information line on 1300 129 255 or email communications@nqbp.com.au.

ENDS

North Queensland Bulk Ports contact:
Emilie Pershouse | Regional Stakeholder Engagement Advisor
07 4969 0773 | epershouse@nqbp.com.au