Mary River’s public pontoon is scrapped on Wednesday.
Mary River’s public pontoon is scrapped on Wednesday. JOCELYN WATTS

Pontoon goes to scrap

MARY River's public pontoon snapped on the first tide. It could not be fixed. It has been in storage for almost four years and damaged by flood. It has cost ratepayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Yesterday it was turned into scrap.

The final decision to scrap the pontoon yesterday stirred the fury of riverside workers who watched as it was broken into pieces and taken away in trucks.

Already angry that the former Maryborough City Council pressed on with its original plan, despite a warning that it was not suitable for the site, then paid $300 a week rent on storage for almost four years and left structures standing idle, riverboat captain Denis Kerr and other boaties were fuming over the pontoon's eventual demise.

“They've spent my rate money on this useless thing and left a walkway that goes nowhere and two pylons standing in the water,” Mr Kerr said.

“Kids push supermarket trolleys along the walkway, throw mud on it and slide up and down.

“This is the gateway to Maryborough by the river – that's what visitors see and it's been like that for years.”

Charles “Chika” Derwent, a marine contractor, said the pontoon was a disgrace.

“It wasn't suitable for the site and now the deck's broken. It's a white elephant.”

Marine engineer Doc Dooley said the handling of the pontoon project was “absolute stupidity”.

“What happened to the warranty? My work has to be guaranteed for seven years.

“Somebody has to be held accountable for the amount of ratepayers' money that's been wasted.

“I've never seen a debacle like this in any other sea port or waterway I've been to.”

A Fraser Coast council spokesman said the flood-damaged pontoon would be recycled.

Metal would be recycled through the council's material recovery centre at Saltwater Creek Road and sold for scrap.

The concrete will be crushed to recover the reinforcing steel which is sold for recycling. The polystyrene floatation blocks will be recycled through the materials recovery sales centre.

While the council's insurers have given permission for the pontoon to be removed from the river and demolished, the claim has not been settled.

Once the claim, which includes storage costs, has been settled the council will be able to consider the future of the pontoon project.

Read more

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