Councillor Phil Truscott and council group manager infrastructure deliveries Davendra Naidu take a look under the Urangan Pier's boardwalk.
Councillor Phil Truscott and council group manager infrastructure deliveries Davendra Naidu take a look under the Urangan Pier's boardwalk. Alistair Brightman

Urangan Pier's heritage listing won't be affected by revamp

Urangan Pier: Fraser Coast Regional Council announces plans to refurbish the Urangan Pier over the next three years.
Urangan Pier: Fraser Coast Regional Council announces plans to refurbish the Urangan Pier over the next three years.

UPDATE: The Urangan Pier's heritage listing will not be affected by the $5 million refurbishment, councillor Phil Truscott, who holds the portfolio for waterways and coastal infrastructure, says.

"Because it's heritage listed, it has to go through all the necessary agencies which is what we've done," he said.

Cr Truscott agreed the pier would lose a bit of the character after the refurbishment was complete.

"It's a very fair comment but the timber does not last as long as this new material will - it's a happy compromise," he said.

EARLIER: A temporary walkway will be built off the side of the Urangan Pier to allow people to pass while a $5 million refurbishment is under way during the next three winters.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the refurbishment would see timber piles, which came from Fraser Island, replaced with steel poles wrapped in a new plastic substance drilled 8m into the seabed.

The deck and rails will have to be removed so the new piles and plastic sleeves can be driven into the seafloor.

He said worksite equipment would be stored on a vacant block on the corner of the Esplanade and Pilot St and not in Pier Park.

"We will need help from fishermen and people who use the pier to ensure we can finish the project on time," Cr O'Connell said.

"People will need to watch out for vehicles driving on the pier taking equipment to the construction area."

The project will tackle:

  • Replacing piles weakened by marine borers
  • Driving in new steel piles encased in plastic sleeves to counter the affects of the marine environment
  • Removal of old piles
  • Replacing rusting galvanized bolts and steel brackets

Pier history

  • The Urangan Pier was opened in 1917 to export coal, timber and sugar from the Wide Bay hinterland
  • It operated until 1985 when it was decommissioned and orders were given by the State Government for the 1100m structure to be demolished
  • As the workers moved in to demolish the pier there was public uproar and the 'Save the Pier' campaign was started which resulted in 880m of the structure being saved
  • On June 30, 1994, responsibility for the pier was transferred from the State Government Department of Harbour and Marine to the Hervey Bay City Council along with a contribution of $250,000 towards maintenance
  • About $2 million was spent on a refurbishment project in the 1990s
  • Residents raised $200,000 through festivals and raffles and the rest came from the council and state and federal government grants
  • Under that project, sections of the pier in shallow water were refurbished
  • The Fraser Coast Regional Council allocated $2.5 million to refurbish 220m of the pier in 2009