EXCLUSIVE: Boyne's long-awaited $1.5m surprise revealed
THE mouth of the Boyne River will be dredged to make a safer passage for the region's boat owners.
Money has also been allocated to seal the carpark at the NRG power station boat ramp.
The State Government has given Gladstone Ports Corporation $1.5 million to complete the two projects.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said sediment that had built up around the river mouth during the years had made it unsafe for boaties, particularly at low tide.
"Since being the member for the last two years, it's been one of the biggest concerns for the Boyne/Tannum area," he said.
"There is a designated channel there and we're going to clean out that channel."
As part of the program, Mr Butcher said all the buoys, lighting and markers would be upgraded.
"It should make the whole thing a lot safer and better," he said.
With the region having one of the highest boat ownership rates per capita in Queensland, Mr Butcher said a lot of those people lived in the Boyne Island and Tannum Sands area.
"We have Australia's largest fishing competition, the Boyne Tannum HookUp, and over 3000 fishing competitors utilise Bray Park and that boat ramp, so it was a no-brainer for us to get the funding for it," Mr Butcher said.
Angler and regular boat user Jeff Amos said it was about time the channel was cleared.
"We've been chasing this for years," he said.
"We've been very vocal with the government on getting this done."
Mr Amos said he had been concerned that somebody in their boat would die at the mouth of the river.
"A guy that doesn't know our area and is going a bit too fast ... it's just going to lead to a terrible accident," he said.
Mr Amos, who was involved with the Boyne Tannum HookUp but has completely retired, said this was long overdue.
"Yes, the river will be out of commission for a bit but who cares," he said.
Besides the channel clearing, Mr Butcher said the carpark at the power station's boat ramp was important too.
"With these carparks, when boats come out of the water they'll obviously have water coming out of them," he said. "If it's just a dirt carpark, you end up with big pot holes ... so what this will do will give them a proper bitumen surface."
Mr Amos said the dredging of the mouth was more important than the work at the carpark, but welcomed that too.
The first step for the dredging works is for GPC to complete a feasibility study to assess the viability of environmental approvals, channel depth and width options, and the strategy for use of dredged material.
GPC chairman Leo Zussino said they had been liaising with the community and authorities regarding the removal of built up sediment from the Boyne River mouth for many years.
The dredging project requires the removal of approximately 12,000m3 of sediment across a 15m wide channel, which has built up in the river mouth since 2011.
Mr Amos said besides the obvious benefits to safety from the dredging, small businesses would benefit.
GPC chief executive Peter O'Sullivan said the hope was to begin work in the second half of this year.
"The priority is the Boyne (River), then we'll move to the carpark," he said.