Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

HIGH AND DRY Closure Hits 150 Boats on Coast; Boaties Stunned as Key Marine Fuel Supplier Shuts Down Its Pumps

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

HIGH AND DRY Closure Hits 150 Boats on Coast; Boaties Stunned as Key Marine Fuel Supplier Shuts Down Its Pumps

Article excerpt

THE Sunshine Coast's shark contractor will have to sail about 100 nautical miles extra to refuel after a major fuel service operator announced yesterday that it would close.

And many other boaties will be affected when the only unleaded fuel service in Mooloolaba Boat Harbour shuts down on Monday.

The Wharf Mooloolaba had provided the fuel for at least a dozen commercial businesses as well.

ITS decision sent shockwaves through the boating fraternity yesterday.

As many as 150 vessels are tipped to be affected.

Shark program director Tony Ham said Coast contractor Paddy Diamond would be forced to make a 100 nautical mile round trip to pumps on southern Bribie Island every time he needed to refuel.

He said that solution had no long-term viability. It cost too much and takes too long.

Access to Noosa was a problem because of the Noosa River bar was treacherous, and the vessel's weight.

"It's a shame we were given such short notice,'' Mr Ham said. "We are trying hard to find a viable option.''

The contractor put to sea on 300 days this year.

Mooloolaba is one of the busiest and safest ports on the Australian east coast north of Sydney.

The Wharf Mooloolaba is decommissioning the fuel supply point because of the cost of new Environmental Protection Authority legislation that comes into effect on January 1.

The company did not respond to questions about why it had left it so late to notify customers.

The Wharf is also considering the ongoing viability of its diesel fuel service because of the legislation's requirements.

The only other commercial diesel fuelling facility is at Lawries Marina.

Mooloolaba Coast Guard commander John Annabell warned the prospect of commercial operators and private boat owners fuelling their vessels from canisters would lead to increased fire risks. …

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