COOCHIEMUDLO Island will have a barge service tomorrow, Monday, December 5, operating out of Redland Bay, after Redland City Council stepped in over the weekend and hired Stradbroke Ferries.
Coochiemudlo Island residents will have to use the Weinam Creek precinct tomorrow, as the larger Stradbroke Ferries barge is unsuitable for docking at Victoria Point.
The cost of the two days of Stradbroke Ferries barges to Coochie will be borne by Redland ratepayers but details of the final bill are still unknown.
The island’s regular barge, the 14-car Sirenia, was taken out of action on Thursday after its gearbox blew up.
It was the third time the barge service was halted since September, when Maritime Safety Queensland ruled it unseaworthy and took it out of action until it complied with a list of conditions.
After the owners met all MSQ regulations, the vessel went back into service only to be taken out of action the next day when cables holding the drawbridge snapped.
The latest failure raised the ire of island residents forcing the council to take immediate action.
“Council officers have been working behind the scenes to ensure a service is available for Coochie residents,” Mayor Melva Hobson said on Saturday.
“The council has issued new permits to other operators and has, for this weekend, engaged Stradbroke Ferries to supply a service today, Saturday, from 1.30pm-6pm and Monday morning from 5.30am until 10am.
“Ratepayers will bear the cost of this service over and above fares collected.
“The service will operate out of Redland Bay as the barge available is not suited to the Victoria Point.
“Maritime Safety Queensland and council have been working together on this issue but there can be no compromise for safety,” Cr Hobson said.