The Port of Townsville is spending $1.2 million to repair the Lucinda Jetty to extend the life of the popular fishing spot for the benefit of the local community.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the contract had been awarded to Townsville engineering company Casa Projects and is expected to support 15 jobs over the next six months.
“Investing in Queensland infrastructure means creating Queensland jobs as we unite and recover from COVID-19,” Mr Bailey said.
“Corrosive damage was discovered near the top of a number of the 68 steel piles during a structural inspection last year.
“Thanks to the strong response from Queenslanders to coronavirus, the Palaszczuk Government and its publicly-owned ports continue to deliver a record $23 billion roads and transport program for the state, which is supporting 13,500 jobs for regional Queensland.”
Port of Townsville General Manager Infrastructure and Environment Marissa Wise said Lucinda is an important port as it boasts the longest service jetty in the South Hemisphere, stretching 5.6km, for the export of raw sugar from the Ingham District.
“The so-called ‘little’ jetty, which is 210 metres long, was built 63 years-ago and has become a mecca for recreational fishers who travel vast distances to fish there,’’ she said.
“The project provides a much-needed boost to the local economy which is important at this time.”
Managing Director Casa Projects Peter Casa described winning the contract as ‘exceptional for us’.
“This comes at a great time,’’ he said.
“We are a Townsville-based company and we want work in the region because at the moment the economy requires a boost and this is a perfect remedy.
“The other important element is that it is quite a technical job so it will help retain our company’s skill set.’’
Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo said he was ‘ecstatic’ about the project.
“The little jetty is a significant attraction for visitors and tourists to Lucinda,’’ he said.
“As part of our economic diversification program we are working hard to change our economy from a heavy reliance on sugar to other industries including tourism, and the little jetty forms a crucial part of our endeavours to establish Lucinda as a fishing and holiday destination of choice.”
The works include the strengthening and corrosion protection of the steel piles along the wharf stem and the service wharf. This will be achieved by the installation of steel doubler plates (adding a 10mm layer of steel to the upper parts of piles) and wrapping of the steel piles.
The construction is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year (depending on weather).
During construction the jetty will need to be closed from for short durations (a few hours at a time) between July and November 2020.
There will also be areas fenced off for the full duration of the works for the safety of the community and the workforce.
The Port of Townsville, which operates the Townsville and Lucinda ports, conducts regular structural inspections of the fishing jetty to ensure the safety of the public.