Taskforce continues gaining ground in war on wrecks
In July 2018, the Queensland Government committed $20 million over 4 years towards removing derelict and illegally dumped vessels from Queensland waterways. The Minister for Transport and Main Roads announced the establishment of a War on Wrecks Taskforce (the Taskforce), comprised of Parliamentary and industry representatives to make recommendations to the government for a holistic response to these issues.
A further $15 million has been allocated to continue the good work of the War on Wrecks for an additional 3 years up to 30 June 2025. The Taskforce held a meeting during December 2022 to review the successes arising from the initial four-year program, and to discuss challenges around boat insurance and waterways management.
Maritime Safety Queensland has been investigating the root causes of vessel abandonment and working with partner agencies and owners to remove or rectify derelict vessels around Queensland.
April 2023 update
- 1,177 fewer derelict vessels in Queensland waterways as a result of the War on Wrecks program.
- 701 derelict vessels have been removed by Maritime Safety Queensland and partners since the War on Wrecks began.
- 410 vessels are still of interest.
Update on the War on Wrecks program so far.
Queensland is world-renowned for its beautiful waterways.
From the tip of Cape York to the Gold Coast, from the Great Barrier Reef through to our rivers and creeks, there's nowhere better to dive, fish or simply cruise.
In 2018, the Queensland Government committed $20 million over four years to the War on Wrecks program to remove derelict vessels and other hazards to help make these waterways pristine and safe.
A further $15 million for three years was committed in the 2022-23 budget, building on the success of the initial four-year program.
Maritime Safety Queensland, along with their partner agencies, are cleaning up Queensland.
And we need your help on the job by identifying existing vessels that have become waterway hazards as well as preventing the further abandonment of boats.
Because of the War on Wrecks, in the four years to June 2022, there's 1026 fewer derelict vessels in our waterways.
Ranging from sunken tinnies to barges—some barely recognisable—we've been making your waterways safer and cleaner.
In the 2021-22 financial year alone, the program has been responsible for the removal of 180 hazards from our bays, creeks and islands.
We have another 150 vessels on our to do list.
In May the program reached a major milestone with the removal of its 1,000th wreck – the Sonda from Cabbage Tree Creek.
Every part of Queensland has benefitted from the program.
[Cairns] In Cairns, whether you enjoy snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef or boating in tropical waters, there's now 134 less wrecks to detract from the region's beauty, and we're monitoring another 25.
[Townsville] If you're cruising around Magnetic Island or venturing out to the Hinchinbrook Channel, there are 86 fewer wrecks across the beaches and coastal areas around Townsville, making it safer, with another 5 being monitored.
[Mackay/Whitsunday] In Mackay and Whitsunday, known for its freshwater dams and hidden fishing spots, we are protecting the environment with 73 fewer derelicts, and we are managing 9 more wrecks.
[Gladstone] Think coral cays, rivers and tropical islands. Unfortunately abandoned vessels have caused issues for the beaches and ports in the Gladstone region. Since July 2018, the clean-up in this region means 123 fewer abandoned, and we have another 26 on our radar.
[Brisbane]Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast; we want these areas to be known as home to a treasure trove of sandy stretches, not navigation and pollution hazards. To date, the War on Wrecks program has been responsible for a decrease of 610 derelict vessels to improve the environment, and another 85 are being monitored by the team.
Now, we want you on board to help develop a whole-of-life approach towards responsible boat ownership, all the way through from manufacture to responsible disposal. We are looking at ways to ensure that everyone can safely enjoy Queensland's marine environment and invite you to work with us so we can all continue to enjoy safer, cleaner seas.
Watch for regional forums in 2023. To join the conversation, search War on Wrecks.
See some recently removed wrecks.
War on Wrecks Taskforce Report
The Taskforce delivered its report to the Queensland Government, which provides a framework to develop a holistic approach towards responsible boat ownership.
How you can help
Email us at WarOnWrecks@msq.qld.gov.au if you:
- know of the location of an unseaworthy vessel that is a danger to navigation or a threat to the marine environment or public safety
- own such a vessel and would like to discuss ways of removing it
- know the identity and contact details of the owners of such vessels
- think you can help with suggestions to prevent vessels becoming derelict and abandoned in future.