Please, no, not the pontoon

RED FACES appeared at the Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting on Wednesday when Les MucKan floated Maryborough's ill-fated public pontoon in general business.

The Fraser Coast councillor said that when he asked about the pontoon's future others in the room seemed embarrassed the matter had been made public again.

“It's a sore subject. It goes back to the old Maryborough council that was paying $300 a week for it to be housed at a marina.

“Just after amalgamation I asked for it to be put into dry dock but they said that wasn't possible because the structure underneath couldn't hold the deck.

“Eventually it was relocated to a hole in the side of the river and when the tide went out it kept sitting on the bottom where it ended up doing what they said it couldn't do – support its own weight.

“When I asked the question in council on Wednesday, well let's just say if they had something to choke on, they would have.

“I got a lot of stares, like it was something that shouldn't be brought into the public forum.

“Then overnight it's being scrapped and taken away.”

A council spokesman said the pontoon was initially installed to improve public access to the Mary River, primarily to provide all abilities access to the river, as part of the Urban Renewal Strategy for Maryborough developed by Trevor Reddicliff.

“It had been in storage at a marina in the Mary River while the council investigated new locations upstream of the Maryborough Sailing Club to moor the pontoon after the initial location proved unsuccessful because the river bank collapsed and silted the site.

“While it was in storage at the marina it was damaged during a flood. It was also moved without council approval from its berth to the riverbank where it was further damaged, which is why the council lodged an insurance claim.”

Mr MucKan said a structural engineer's report indicated the pontoon was unsound and should be demolished.

“The council's insurers gave permission to remove the pontoon from the river so the council could stop paying mooring fees of $300 a week.”

The former Maryborough City Council spent about $700,000, partly funded by the State Government on two pontoons, one for the public and the other for Maryborough Rowing Club.

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