Nelly Bay sediment excavation works underway to improve harbour

Date published: 9 December 2021

Townsville City Council has started Stage 1 of the Nelly Bay Dredging Project by excavating more than 360 cubic metres of sediment from Nelly Bay Harbour to help boost the safety and serviceability of the popular precinct.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability chairperson Maurie Soars said sediment from the surrounding hill had washed into a section of Magnetic Island Marina, causing a potential hazard at low tide.

“The build-up has reached a point where the pontoons are touching the harbour floor at low tide and it is impacting their use,” Cr Soars said.

“To ensure they continue to float, even at low tide, contractors have started digging out the excess sediment by using an excavator on a barge stationed inside Nelly Bay.

“Stage 2 of the works will commence following the wet season and will consist of a larger area and removal of the material off-site.”

Council has worked closely with the Department of Environment and Science and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to minimise any environmental impacts from the necessary excavation work.

“A silt curtain has been installed to ensure any disturbed sediment is contained in the work area while the excavation works are taking place,” Cr Soars said.

“Restrictions have also been placed on vessel traffic movements within the works area.”

The first stage of works is expected to finish early next week, weather permitting.

Council appreciates the community’s cooperation during the scheduled works.