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Rotting houseboat mess riles locals

This junk has washed up from a sunken boat at Runaway Bay.
This junk has washed up from a sunken boat at Runaway Bay.

THIS pile of rotting mattresses, sofas, wood and plastic is not awaiting a council kerb-side clean up.

It is junk collected from a submerged houseboat in Bayview Harbour, Runaway Bay.

The boat has been marooned for the past three weeks as authorities wait for the owner to salvage the vessel, and its belongings.

In the meantime, frustrated residents have been picking floating debris and putting it in rubbish bins or on the beach in the hope it is collected.

"It's long winded and frustrating," said Bayview Harbour manager Susan Watson.

"(The houseboat) is full of toxic material, like a Port-a-Potty, oil tanks. Our pristine beach is cluttered with rubbish."

Harbour manager Susan Watson pictured at the entrance to the Bayview Harbour Yacht Squadron. Picture: Mike Batterham
Harbour manager Susan Watson pictured at the entrance to the Bayview Harbour Yacht Squadron. Picture: Mike Batterham

It is believed the houseboat was stripped of its engines more than six months ago and has been pushed around the Broadwater by a tinnie boat.

Volunteer Marine Rescue Southport president Dave Macdonald said VMR had helped tow the houseboat over the years at the request of Gold Coast Waterway Authority (GCWA).

At the time the houseboat ran into the rocks last month, VMR were advised it was too dangerous to tow the boat away.

According to authorities, it is the owner's responsibility to salvage a damaged boat, meaning locals are stuck with the eye sore until the owner organises for it to be refloated.

"If it was a car on the street someone would have organised for it to be removed," boatie Coralie Rea said.

"Besides being an eye sore, it's in the entrance to the marina."

GCWA CEO Hal Morris said he understood the owner still wanted to salvage the vessel, but urged him to "get busy" removing the houseboat.

"There's a process and we're in this process," he said.

"If it was a safety hazard we have the option to move it away at an additional cost to the owner."

He said GCWA officers who attended the boat found no evidence of oil or petrol leaks and damage to a navigational beacon close by would be paid for by the owner.

Maritime Safety Queensland confirmed they would continue to monitor the vessel.

Topics:  houseboat rubbish

News Corp Australia


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