Funds to maintain Carnarvon fascine channel

Francesca MannMidwest Times
Ocean access to the fascine been closed since last year after a severe storm caused a large sandbar to encroach on its navigational channel entrance.
Camera IconOcean access to the fascine been closed since last year after a severe storm caused a large sandbar to encroach on its navigational channel entrance. Credit: The West Australian

The Shire of Carnarvon will receive more than $35,000 towards a long-term plan to maintain a safe navigational channel into the fascine.

The entrance to the fascine has been deteriorating since April last year when a severe storm caused a large sandbar to encroach on its navigational channel entrance.

The Department of Transport was forced to close the ocean entrance, which restricted the movement of boats moored at the Carnarvon Yacht Club.

Since the closure, the club’s income has been significantly hit, losing about $10,000 a month.

In May the Shire successfully secured $38,250 from the department’s Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme to go towards its Carnarvon Fascine Entrance Study.

But Carnarvon Yacht Club general manager Jim Williams said it was unlikely the fascine entrance would be accessible this season.

“At this stage it’s not looking very hopeful,” he said.

“Some of our members were able to get out last week as we had some very high tides but that was an exception to the rule. Essentially everyone is still stuck.

“Our income is still down because this is the time we would normally expect to have visitors, and we don’t have any.

“It’s affecting the whole town as it’s not just the visiting yachts that can’t come — people who come with trailer boats, they’re not coming either.”

At a special meeting in August last year, the club agreed to spend $110,000 on a dredge, which was built in February.

Mr Williams said the dredge had since been approved and registered by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

While the club waits for the dredge to be used, Mr Williams said it still had to be operated regularly, which had come as another financial blow.

In an attempt to recoup some of the money, the club held a Mother’s Day high tea fundraiser on May 20.

It’s affecting the whole town as it’s not just the visiting yachts that can’t come — people who come with trailer boats, they’re not coming either.

After putting the call out for community members to lend teapots and cups, Mr Williams said the club was overwhelmed by support.

“We put out a call on the Carnarvon Pay it Forward Facebook page for loans of teapots and tea cups,” he said.

“It was amazing the response, so many people came forward to loan us items for the high tea.

“The community really wants some action on the Fascine.”

The Shire had originally applied for a $750,000 Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme grant with the hopes of using the funding to create a new channel.

Around the state nine projects secured a slice of $1.5 million through the scheme.

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