Out of town boaties fear Gladstone region's shallow creek
SAILORS and boaties are dodging Seventeen Seventy out of fear the creek's shallow depth will damage their vessels.
Experienced sailors Glad and Rick Smith, who are moored off Seventeen Seventy, said it was disappointing to hear their friends were avoiding the seaside township.
The retired couple from Grafton sail from their New South Wales home to Cape Gloucester every year, stopping at Seventeen Seventy creek on the way up and back.
Mr and Mrs Smith said the Seventeen Seventy creek needed urgent dredging or the region risked losing more visitors.
"Even in the past five months we have noticed a huge difference, it's getting worse," Mrs Smith said.
"Our friends wouldn't even come in the the creek because they were worried it's too shallow.
"It's a shame because it's such a beautiful place."
The depth of the creek, which is used by fishermen and tourism operators, has dropped from 1.3 metres 18 months ago to around 100 millimetres.
The Smiths, who watched the Today Show's live broadcast from the Seventeen Seventy foreshore yesterday, said they timed their entry into the creek during the day's highest tide.
Earlier this year Gladstone Regional Council funded a $100,000 study and design plan into dredging Round Hill Creek.
The study will be used to lobby Federal Government financial support to complete the work, which could cost up to $500,000.
Fishermen and tourism operators have warned Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd the problem is worsening.
Mr O'Dowd said he was prepared to lobby for financial backing from his government to complete the dredging.
"If the council can get me an idea of the cost we could look at a bipartisan approach between local, state and federal governments," he said.
"The problem is not going away and the sand is going to continue to build up and it will get worse for boaties."