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Report on the Department of Ports and Harbours for the Year 1890-91   By:

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1891.

QUEENSLAND.

REPORT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF PORTS AND HARBOURS FOR THE YEAR 1890 91.

Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command.

TO THE HONOURABLE THE COLONIAL TREASURER.

Department of Ports and Harbours, Brisbane, 26th August, 1891.

SIR, I have the honour to submit, for your information, the following Report concerning this Department for the past year:

I assumed charge on the 1st July, 1890, and found that the heavy gales and floods experienced in January of the same year had most seriously affected several of the dredged cuttings of the Brisbane, Mary, Burnett, and Fitzroy Rivers. In some places the Brisbane River had silted up to such an extent that there were fully 18 inches less water than before the flood. This, however, only proved a temporary inconvenience, as the dredges soon restored the cuttings to their original depths. I also found that considerable changes had taken place in the formation of the banks at the northern entrance to Moreton Bay, necessitating the removal to make the lead effective of Tangaluma Light (which had only been established in 1885), also the removal (for the fourth time) of the Yellow Patch Light, and the building of two new cottages for the lightkeepers. Owing to the encroachment of the sea, it had also been found necessary to remove Comboyuro Point Lighthouse and the keeper's cottage some 200 feet further inland. This work was accomplished by the Inspector, Mr. H. L. Pethebridge. The floating beacon which marked the northern entrance to the port had been ashore on Bribie Island for some time, but, during the first interval of settled westerly weather, she was floated and brought to Brisbane to be repaired and supplied with new moorings, after which she was on the 8th August replaced in her former position, and by the end of October the works of the Department generally, which had suffered in the early portion of the year, were restored.

In January and February of the present year another series of heavy gales was experienced along the whole coast of the Colony, and on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of June a gale of unusual severity, accompanied by torrents of rain, swept along the coast from Bowen southwards, causing heavy seas and abnormally high tides. Such unfavourable weather, of course, occasioned considerable loss to the Department, a great number of buoys being driven from their moorings (some lost altogether), and beacons and other plant receiving a large amount of damage.

MORETON BAY AND BRISBANE RIVER.

The banks at the northern entrance to Moreton Bay are constantly shifting, and the maintenance of the necessary lights and buoys to enable vessels to enter and clear the port in safety is a source of continual anxiety. The floating beacon, which had broken adrift during the month of February, disappeared altogether on the 10th March; and although diligently searched for, no trace of her has been discovered. Two valuable buoys disappeared from the outer banks about the same time. The floating beacon has been replaced by a new second class (Trinity pattern) steel conical buoy, surmounted with a staff and cage, the top of which is 12 feet above the water, forming a most conspicuous object. New buoys have been moored in the positions of those lost.

No. 1 cutting, Hamilton Reach, has now a depth of 17 feet at low water, spring tides; and the entrance to the bar cutting is being dredged to a similar depth. The increased depth of water in these cuttings is of considerable importance to vessels of heavy draught. A depth of 15 feet at low water, spring tides, is fully maintained in the other cuttings, but there are several shallow places in the town reaches of the river which require attention.

The more recent gales and floods do not appear to have injuriously affected the dredged cuttings of the Brisbane River. Several new beacons have been erected to replace those blown down or found defective; and, to render them more conspicuous, heads have been placed on some of the beacons marking the bar cutting... Continue reading book >>




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