A NOTABLE crowd gathered spontaneously at the Tea Gardens Slipway early Thursday morning 16 January to watch a heavy-duty lift crane accompanied by a semi-trailer and low loader, remove a stranded houseboat that had threatened to sink in the Myall River, from the Slipway.
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Due to a periodic ban on wide loads operating on the highway over the Christmas period, the houseboat remained safely on the slipway, negating any environmental threat to the river or possible injury to members of the public using the river over the busy holiday period.
Paul Bendy, Slipway Association Inc. President told News Of The Area, “We moved very quickly to get this sinking houseboat from its mooring across the river to the beach here, it would not have made it any further.”
Generally speaking, having to dispose of old vessels at the end of their economic life, with most centres unable to take them, is a problem that needs to be addressed, however some yards do accept them and are able to break them down and cut them into pieces.
The Slipway Association Inc. have completed their Expression of Interest in a reconstruction process to ensure the Tea Gardens Slipway meets current environmental standards and remains on the riverside where it has been in continuous operation since 1948.
Paul said, “All the design work has been done to bring the facility into the twenty first century however without financial support, we as a not for profit organisation consisting of group of volunteers, know the future of this Slipway depends on funding.”
“Thank God we have got this facility, without it we just sit here and watch it sink, this has been a successful operation it’s what we are here for and it’s what we do best,” My Bendy said.
By Sandra CLARK