Call for Urangan Pier to be returned to former glory
AN AMBITIOUS idea to restore Urangan Pier to its former glory has been labelled far too expensive for council to pursue.
Tiaro Chamber of Commerce president Darryl Stewart told the Chronicle of the plan, which would include the restoration of 220m of the now-100 year-old tourism icon.
The Urangan Pier was once a key location for the exportation of locally-produced sugar.
Sugar was carted from small mills scattered across the Fraser Coast by rail to the end of the Pier, which was then manually loaded aboard ships for export.
The then-1100m structure operated until 1985 when it was decommissioned and ordered to be demolished.
Public uproar and a "Save the Pier" campaign saved the 880m which still stands today, and about $7.5 million has been spent on the Pier's refurbishment in the last decade.
Mr Stewart appealed for council to investigate rebuilding the lost 220m, with a view to attracting cruise liners and more business to Urangan.
"We've now got these cruise ships coming in but the water is too shallow at the end of the pier so they're all going to Kingfisher," Mr Stewart said.
Mr Stewart's concern is that money that could come into Hervey Bay has flowed to Fraser Island.
Fraser Coast deputy mayor and heritage portfolio councillor George Seymour said it was simply too expensive.
"The amount spent on the existing pier is about $7m in the last seven or eight years," Cr Seymour said.
"It's an expensive structure to maintain. I can't see how (the addition of the 220m seciton) could be afforded."
Mr Stewart spoke of ideas that include the introduction of a restaurant, a chairlift or monorail to take passengers from the shore to the end of the pier, and the allowance of cruise ships.
His call is fuelled by a desire for the Fraser Coast to make better use of all tourist destinations across the Fraser Coast.
"I don't think it's as expensive to extend the pier out as a lot of people think it is," Mr Stewart said.
"Let's make something of it."
Mr Stewart is not the first to call for better use of the Urangan Pier.
A letters published by the Chronicle in September called for the construction of "T-junctions" halfway up the pier to allow small kiosks to operate.
The official ceremony for the Urangan Pier's centenary will include several re-enactments, a street parade, live entertainment, markets, and will be attended by Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey.