Gladstone Regional Council will commission a preliminary concept design into a permanent solution to creating a safe passage through Round Hill Creek for commercial and recreational vessels.
The lowest cost option (costing between $500k and $1.5 Million) investigated for deepening the channel – called “sand sweeping” was not recommended by council officers because of its low probability of success.
Council is adamant that the cost of fixing Round Hill Creek should not be borne by ratepayers, however, Acting Mayor Chris Trevor said deepening the channel was essential to enable emergency service workers such as the VMR to attend rescues at sea.
“If you can’t get safe access back to land in those conditions I can tell you it’s not funny,” he said.
Using residual project funds not expended on the sand-push, commissioning an appropriate design with an acceptable probability of success would assist Council to lobby other levels of government to fund the project.
A higher-end solution such as a rock-wall (sand bypassing or entrance training) would cost in the range of $20 – $50 million, excluding ongoing sand-pumping costs.