Photo: Garry Schlatter
Photo: Garry Schlatter

SS Dicky relocation depends on government tick of approval

SUNSHINE Coast Council's plans to remove parts of the SS Dicky shipwreck may be put on hold if the State Government refuses to sign off on the project.

While archaeologists and council workers were seen testing last week, they still have to jump a few more hurdles before being given the green light to cut away at the wreck.

Environment and heritage councillor Jenny McKay said council needed approval from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to remove parts of the vessel.

The plan was to remove what was visible and deemed unsafe above the sand's surface, Cr McKay said, leaving about 1.5m of the coastal trader's frame underground.

"To get the permit we have to get the process of extracting the wreck right," she said.

The council has budgeted $180,000 toward the relocation of SS Dicky, which has been on the beach since 1893.

Once removed, the vessel parts will be displayed in a structure on the foreshore but in line with the submerged part of the wreck.

"We will be cutting it back to the floor level above the bilge," Cr McKay said.

"There will be another metre or so of hull and ribs sitting underneath where we will be cutting."

This means from time to time the remains of the wreck will be exposed due to wild weather events and erosion.

"It will become a spectacle for people during those events, but generally in normal conditions it will be less of a hazard because most of it will be under the sand," Cr McKay said.

Cr McKay said the council was also hoping to secure the original bell of the SS Dicky to be included in the new display.

The council's manager of environmental operations, Chris Allan, said obtaining the green light to remove the shipwreck relied heavily on the success of extraction testing.

HOW THE STORY HAS UNFOLDED SO FAR 

"The test cutting will help with getting final approvals to remove it," he said.

"If we can get the paperwork through quickly we're aiming for about a June or July start."

Mr Allan said the council was listening to concerns of the community about Dicky Beach losing its identity, as the beach was named after the wreck.

"Any work we undertake has to be sensitive to the sense of the shipwreck's connection to the beach and the community," he said.

Division 2 councillor Tim Dwyer said last week that he was confident all efforts had been made to preserve the heritage value of the wreck while improving public safety.

"Tests will ascertain the safety and accuracy of the cutting tools for both above and below water as well as underwater visibility issues," he said.

"We need to know the cutting equipment will work in this challenging environment as the majority of cutting will need to happen underwater in limited visibility, against wave action and without the construction of safety barriers."

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS OF THE SS DICKY

When the Daily noticed council had started testing excavation at the SS Dicky site, we asked our readers to share their photos of the iconic shipwreck.

If you have one to share, email us at editorial@scnews.com.au



Prisoner charged with murder of fellow inmate

Prisoner charged with murder of fellow inmate

44-year-old man at Mid North Coast facility to face court

Motorcyclist killed in crash struck road sign in the rain

premium_icon Motorcyclist killed in crash struck road sign in the rain

A woman died after crashing a motorised scooter.

Star students of the Coffs Coast - part 1

premium_icon Star students of the Coffs Coast - part 1

You may be surprised to find out just who was schooled in Coffs.