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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13361

Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (10:44): Earlier this month, an iconic silhouette in Queensland was destroyed. Queensland state government authorities cut down the Tangalooma Wrecks just above the waterline. While I realise this was done to stabilise the wrecks and make them safer, I rise today to condemn the lack of planning and the state government's lack of foresight when it comes to tourism and business opportunities in Moreton Bay. These safety works were carried out without any public consultations and with no plans to replace the wrecks. In fact, the consultation was so bad that even the federal member for Bonner, who looks after Moreton Island, was not consulted. We did not hear a peep from the state member for Redcliffe, Yvette D'Ath, who has had eight years in public office and is responsible for Moreton Island. No-one knew. It just happened overnight. I put up a Facebook post on 17 November, just last week, and the reaction from boat owners in the federal seat of Petrie and in the neighbouring seat of Lilley clearly shows that people think this is a travesty.

Tangalooma Wrecks date back to 1963, when a group of boat owners got together and lobbied for a harbour to be constructed just off Moreton Island. Their request was granted with about 15 ships sunk there. The decommissioned vessels included old whalers, old barges, dredges and flatboats, with the Maryborough taking the lead as the first vessel to be sunk. The wrecks created a break wall, which has until now served as a sanctuary for smaller boats doing weekend trips out there. On top of that, the wrecks are also a great place to dive and snorkel. Tangalooma Wrecks were, without a doubt, one of the most iconic scenes in South-East Queensland. Roz Shaw from Moreton Island Adventures said:

Tangalooma Wrecks are an iconic Queensland Tourism attraction—Brisbane's great barrier reef.

It is imperative that there is a long term plan to ensure this attraction and safe harbour for boating it retained such as placing further wrecks on the site.

Greg Nickerson from Northside Marine, a big boat shop in my area, said:

It's disappointing and devastating. We can't fix what happened but we need a plan to renew the wrecks to what we had previously.

I have spoken to my federal counterpart, the defence minister, looking for a couple of old patrol boats that could possibly be sunk there, but there is nothing available until 2020. I call upon the state government to have a five-decade plan, a 50-year plan, to replace those wrecks and provide a sanctuary and tourism opportunities for Moreton Bay in the coming years.