Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Breaking Waves And Breaking Ground

Mackay Marina's Bold Resilience Project Takes Shape

The Mackay Marina is set to receive increased protection with the construction of a new nib wall as part of a $10.5 million resilience project. The marina is exposed to northerly waves during certain weather conditions, making the construction of this new wall a critical step in ensuring the safety of the boats and the harbour.

Port Binnli has worked closely with the Federal, State, and Local governments along with several consultants to ensure the right design was implemented for the benefit of the Marina. The Principal Contractor, Hall Contracting, will be building a 125m long rock wall on the inside of the Southern Breakwater, just inside the current marina entrance.

Construction works on the new nib wall at the Mackay Marina began in mid-February with the first delivery of rocks to the site on Monday February 27. Construction will continue through until July 2023, weather permitting.

New Nib Wall To Bring Increased Protection To Mackay Marina

Mackay Marina Manager Ben Anderson said the nib wall would help deliver resilience for the marina and boats in the marina during adverse weather conditions. He is excited about the commencement of construction, which is expected to bring more visitors to the region and increase the potential for tourism.

Development Manager from Port Binnli Tom Hall-Brown said the new wall is being constructed within the small craft harbour, which won’t impact the commercial operations of the Mackay Harbour.

Mr Hall-Brown said this project has come at the ideal time given the Mackay Marina was recently accredited for superyachts by the Marina Industry Association, based on the level of service the Mackay Marina can provide.

“When these superyachts come in, their spend is just immense. One year we had one come in and they spent $19,000 on flowers. That’s the kind of big immediate impact it can have on small local businesses by attracting more craft like this to Mackay.

“This upgrade is the next step in evolving our capital works program which will upgrade the fuel system, potentially upgrade the size of the travel lift.

“It gives us more confidence to invest now we have the ability to protect the marina from this northerly fetch.”

There are 435 berths at the Mackay Marina and six capable of hosting superyachts.

Lead contractor building the wall, Cameron Hall, CEO of Hall Contracting, said that the wall will be 125m long perpendicular to the current breakwater. As the lead contractor for the project Mr Hall said they had engaged local subcontractors. During the peak of the project around 100 trucks will be delivering loads of rock daily.

Federal Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox is pleased that the Federal Government has been able to commit $2.5 million to the project. He said that the nib wall will make visiting the Mackay Marina a safer prospect for superyachts, which are currently susceptible to damage when large swells from the north enter the marina.

“There are millions of dollars’ worth of boats here which are currently susceptible to damage when large swells from the north enter the marina,” he said.

“This is a hugely important step for local businesses through increased potential for tourism by making visiting the Mackay Marina a safer prospect.”

The Southern Breakwater wall will be closed to pedestrian and cyclist traffic during the working hours between 6am and 6pm, but it will be open to pedestrians and cyclists outside of these hours. The breakwater will be open to cyclists and pedestrians on weekends, but it will be closed to vehicles for the duration of the construction.

L-R: Cameron Hall, CEO of Hall Contracting, Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox, Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert, Development Manager from Port Binnli Tom Hall-Brown on the Southern Breakwater, the location for the new nib wall in the background. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

Plan showing the location of the new nib wall currently under construction from the Southern BreakwaterThe first load of rocks placed into the marina for the nib wall was delivered on Monday, February 27. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

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