8 May 2008 2:53 PMJann Stuckey

Thursday 8 May 2008

Member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey  is calling on the State Government to face up to its responsibilities and fix Currumbin Bar.  Together with VMR (Volunteer Marine Rescue) President Peter Saunders and Fix Currumbin Creek spokesperson Brad Smith she is urging the Government to stop playing with people’s lives and fund a research and development project to find ways to move the sand build-up.

“The Government’s head in the sand attitude is placing lives at risk. VMR officers witnessed eight boats and two jet-skis become stuck two hours prior to low tide on Sunday at popular Currumbin Bar. Goodness knows how many other craft came to grief when there was no-one in the VMR tower,” said Ms Stuckey

“For several years now, ever since the Tweed sand bypass pumping began, sand volumes have increased at the creek mouth which has created dangerous circumstances for water-users.

“The Government simply can no longer get away with the excuse this is not a navigable channel. Thousands of boats access it each year, there is a groyne with maritime beacon and a dedicated VMR on regular rosters.

Fix Currumbin Creek spokesperson, Brad Smith said:  ” The local council has done everything they can to dredge Currumbin Bar but the volume of sand moving into the creek mouth is more than they can remove with their allocated budget.”

“The Bar at present is in the most dangerous state I have ever seen and I firmly believe that funding is needed to look at a more permanent long-term solution to this problem before a life is lost.

“There is no doubt the sand is winning this battle, not just in Currumbin but in other Gold Coast waterways. The State Government are refusing to fulfil their duty to the taxpayers of Queensland. Surely in this so called Smart Sate we can fund research to identify a portable structure to move oversupply of sand.

VMR President Peter Saunders has growing concerns that we are again faced with an extremely silted entrance to Currumbin Creek.  He says:  ” It’s almost impossible to get our main rescue boat out for more than 2 hours either side of  a spring high tide, if we are outside on a mission after this we have to use either the Tweed River entrance or the Southport Seaway.

“On Sunday 4th May saw both boats and jet-skis grounded from 10:00 am with low tide not occurring until nearly 3 hours later 12:49.”