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* April 2011 - SPECIAL NOTICE - Association wound up

It is with deep regret that the members of the Bundaberg and District Artificial Reef Association Incorporated (BADARAI) have decided to dissolve the association. 

All assets and equipment have been transferred to the Hervey Bay Artificial Reef Association (Contact:  George Duck. Ph: 07 41946138).  This decision has not been taken lightly, with the association operating for approximately 24 years and producing a world-class artificial reef - the Cochrane Artificial Reef - all completed entirely by volunteers.

The association has completed this work with limited funds from donations, raffles, and most recently, from grants.  Similar operations conducted around the world and even in Australia by State and Federal governments for many millions of dollars have completed less work.  To have conducted the work in both a safe and orderly manner by volunteers is a great tribute to all involved in the organisation.

This work would not have been possible without much local support, principally the Bundaberg Port Authority (Peter Steele), Tackle World Bundaberg (Don Robinson), and others such as Bundaberg Aqua-Scuba, Shoesteel, Bundaberg Regional Council and many others.

The Cochrane Artificial Reef is unique in that it is contained within a Marine National Park, which is regulated by the Queensland State Government.  Additionally, along the many years of operations, the Australian Federal government was involved in operations, and it has been this level of management that has finally caused the association to wind up.  The amount of red-tape put in front of the association by the now Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) has caused hundreds of hours of work for the associations in the last years with nil result.

This department regulates artificial reefs and dangerous materials (eg. PCBs and radioactive materials) in Federal waters.  To date, even with extensive probing, BADARAI has been unable to obtain a firm reason why the association even needed to have a Federal Permit, considering that the reef is in Queensland state waters, and hence under state jurisdiction, and that it operated with relatively benign materials (concrete, steel and aluminium). 

The DSEWPaC has provided very poor communication, often with staff who have little or no experience in artificial reefs and no knowledge of operations.  Often the information that was sent to the department by BADARAI was lost, or they were unaware of it's existence as staff changed constantly within the department.  This became frustrating to the members of BADARAI as it delayed, often for many months, operations that were dictated to by tides and weather conditions. DSWEPaC had gotten to the point of having to send detailed information that they received from BADARAI to an external consultant as they did not have the experience in the department to understand the information.

Because of these delays and changes caused by DSWEPaC, the association was unable to utilise a $20,000 grant provided by the Foster Group for the deployment of a ferro-cement yacht.  This donation was regrettably returned to Fosters with the above explanation.

The association had got to a point where 90% or more of it's efforts were spent dealing with government red tape and not being able to deploy items on the Cochrane Artificial Reef, so sadly it was time to call it a day.  After deploying 3,000 tonnes of material onto the reef, BADARAI has been sunk by Federal Government red tape.

The executive of the association wish to thank the long-term supporters and past members of the association and trust that everyone will be able to enjoy this wonderful, world-renowned artificial reef for many years to come.

* March 2010 - Channel Seven Local News

On 16th March 2010, the Channel Seven local news reported that BADARAI is wanting to source a vessel to deploy on the Cochrane Artificial Reef, using the Foster Group Community Grant.  The report can be viewed here on YouTube

* November 2009 - Fosters Community Grant      

                                 Thank you, Fosters!  

B.A.D.A.R.A.I. applied for and was one of only three successful Australian applicants in the Environmental section of the Fosters Group Community Grants program.  The funds will be used by the association to enhance the Cochrane Artificial Reef.  Suitable materials will be sourced and a deployment will be made in 2010.  Stay tuned for details. 

* July 2009 - Website update

Our website is currently being updated. The "Explore the Reef" page has had photos of some objects added - check it out.
Our "Contacts" page has also been updated, so if you'd like to send us a message, please use the new form on that page and we will get back to you shortly.

* January 2009 - Multi-beam Sonar Survey      


Thanks to the Bundaberg Regional Council and their donation to cover the costs, a multi-beam sonar survey was done of the Cochrane Artificial Reef by the Port of Brisbane Corporation, with support from the Port of Bundaberg. This survey has provided a 3-D image of the Cochrane Artificial Reef and will assist BADARAI with the reporting to various government departments, the exact location of the objects currently deployed on the reef.