Midtown Marinas principal Ray Foley was surprised to find his fuel barge in the middle of a Fairymead cane paddock after it had been swept away by floodwaters.
Midtown Marinas principal Ray Foley was surprised to find his fuel barge in the middle of a Fairymead cane paddock after it had been swept away by floodwaters. Max Fleet

Raging river still to reveal toll

WHEN the floodwaters recede for the third time in less than a month, Midtown Marinas principal Ray Foley will again be left surveying the damage.

The marina shrank to just a third of its original size after the Burnett River raged when it peaked at 7.9m just after Christmas.

“Some of what has been left has been severely damaged by logs and debris smashing into the flotation devices beneath the pontoons,” he said.

Mr Foley said they had sunk the marina again while waiting for the water to rage through the Burnett.

“We won’t really know what the damage will be this time until we can bring the marina back up again,” he said.

But despite not knowing what repairs need to be done to his marina, Mr Foley already knows the bill will be huge.

“It’s hard to say but about $3 to $4 million,” he said.

“Put it this way, if I was to fix what I had before the floods there would not be much change out of $4 million.”

The marina was also one of the largest areas for fishermen to unload their catch in the Bundaberg region.

“That’s all gone now — there a lot of fishermen who can’t work because they have nowhere to unload their catch,” he said.

The marina was also a major stop for many boating tourists visiting the area.

“Each tourist would be worth a lot to the region as they stock up their supplies in Bundaberg as well,” he said.

“We also probably had the biggest chandlery outside of Brisbane.”

Mr Foley was playing a “wait and see” game yesterday as he looked at cleaning out the office near the waterfront for a third time.

He was also contending with how to move a fuel barge back to its original position.

The barge became dislodged from its moorings during the floods after Christmas and floated down the river.

It was not until Mr Foley was able to get up in a plane that he was able to find it — on his second try.

“I tracked it for two or three days until I could get to it,” he said.

“It’s on Bundy Sugar’s property at the moment waiting to be moved back to the water.”

Mr Foley said he had the fuel pumped as soon as the barge was found and planned to move it as soon as the land was dry enough.