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