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Question - Tamar River - Abandoned and Sunken vessels

Tuesday 22 November 2022, Question without notice


[2.35 p.m.]

Regarding abandoned and/or sunken and submerged vessels in the Tamar River:

(1) what is the current situation with regard to the abandoned vessels moored in the vicinity of Kings Wharf, given they are an environmental hazard, unsightly and a breeding ground for vermin and seagulls;

(2) can you advise the situation with regard to the vessel that had been anchored for around 30 years, that sank earlier this year in the Tailrace in proximity to the Trevallyn Power Station;

(3) what is the situation with regard to the yacht that was sunk in the 2016 floods that has lain partially submerged a little down towards the Tamar Rowing Club since then?


(1) The Government is seeking to understand what it would cost to remove the vessels from the Tamar River.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania intends to submit a claim for costs through the deceased estate on behalf of the department and the Environment Protection Authority. The claim will be for all environmental mitigation from the oil spill and the projected costs of removal. There is no guarantee that a claim will be either wholly or partly successful. Further, specific legal advice is being sought on the ownership of these abandoned vessels.

In relation to the diesel and oil on the vessels, the EPA engaged a specialist contractor to recover remaining fuel and oil safely and efficiently from the Cape Barren and the Harry O'May. Fuel recovery commenced on 28 October 2022, and is expected to be completed in the next week or so, subject to weather and tide conditions.

(2) I am advised that the yacht, Storm Runner, sank on its mooring in the Tailrace late September 2021. The owner of the vessel was issued a notice by MAST requesting that the vessel be removed. Two months later the owner had removed the vessel.

(3) The minister has been advised the vessel has no clear owner to be held to account for its removal. The vessel is not causing any navigational risk to any other waterway users.


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