The Sunshine Coast is set to welcome state-of-the-art technology that will assist in the upkeep of local waterways, with Buderim-based dredging and civil construction company Hall Contracting having added a $1.3 million amphibious dredge to its fleet.
Hall Contracting CEO Cameron Hall said the dredge – christened Mooloolah River – is the first in the company's fleet of 11 dredges with the ability to operate both on land and in water.
"The dredge can undertake everything from excavating dry ground and installing piles, right through to dredging sediment or polluted material from waterways and clearing rubbish using a variety of interchangeable attachments," Mr Hall said.
"Traditionally, these works could only be completed using a number of different machines, so the Mooloolah River will revolutionise how we work and generate efficiencies.
"It also only requires one person to operate it and, in most cases, there is no need for tugboats, assisting vessels, additional anchors or winches, keeping costs and completion timeframes to a minimum."
Mr Hall said the dredge's highly mobile and compact design would enable Hall Contracting to tackle a wide range of shallow water projects that previously would have posed accessibility challenges.
"One of the common obstacles we face with dredging projects is working within small, hard-to-reach locations that aren't big enough to accommodate larger dredging vessels," he said.
"This dredge can be transported on a standard trailer with accessories moved on a support trailer, and, being self-propelled, it is capable of moving itself from the trailer to the designated work area, as well as around a job site.
"We have already had an opportunity to put it to the test at Newport, where we successfully dredged around 5,000 cubic metres in a restricted space.
"It performed so well we are planning to order a further four of these machines."
Sunshine Coast Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer welcomed the purchase, noting the equipment had the potential to contribute to the health of the region's waterways.
"During periods of rainfall, significant amounts of sediment can be washed into local waterways, so it's great to know the Sunshine Coast is home to such an advanced and versatile piece of equipment that has the capability to remove sediment with minimal disruption to the surrounding environment," Cr Dwyer said.
"The purchase is also likely to benefit the regional economy, with Hall Contracting based locally and employing more than 100 Sunshine Coast residents as part of its workforce.
"It's great to see a local business growing from strength to strength and bringing innovative technology to the region."
In addition to removing sediment and invasive vegetation from waterways, the Mooloolah River can also deepen shallow waterways; clean urban canals, rivers and mine tailings ponds; and assist with flood mitigation. The dredge will officially be unveiled at a ceremony in Minyama this week.
To find out more, please visit www.hallcontracting.com.au or call 07 5445 5977.