Rich Queenslanders fume as legal loophole lets owners of ‘old junk’ houseboats drop anchor and spoil their multi-million-dollar waterfront views
- Luxury home owners in Noosa furious their million-dollar view are being spoiled
- About 200 large boats are clotting the Noosa River due to a legal loophole
- Noosa Shire Council have now set up a committee to try and solve the problem
Owners of waterfront mansions in one of Australia’s most picturesque locations are furious their million-dollar views are being spoiled by ‘old junk’ houseboats.
In most Queensland waterways there are significant fees for mooring large vessels, but on the glamorous Noosa River houseboat owners are able to anchor free of charge thanks to a state government loophole.
Locals say there are now about 200 run-down boats clotting the river and making the famous destination look like an ‘eyesore’.
Owners of waterfront mansions in one of Australia’s most picturesque locations, Noosa (pictured), are furious their million-dollar views are being spoiled by ‘old junk’ houseboats
Locals say there are now about 200 ‘run-down’ boats clotting the river and making the famous destination look like an ‘eyesore’
Noosa Shire Council have now set up a committee to try and solve the problem.
‘It’s become this dumping ground for anyone in southeast Queensland to come and bring their liveaboard, their old yacht, their old junk,’ Nick Hluszko, who is on the committee, told the ABC.
‘Everyone loves Noosa to death and what better way to get a waterfront property than to just crane in a houseboat and away you go.’
A resident named Barry said it wouldn’t be an issue if the vessels were in good condition but many of them are ‘half sunk’, he claims.
One resident said on Facebook the situation is ‘appalling’.
Another wrote that a popular spot by the riverside was ‘once frequented by little families having a fish and enjoying some family time together. But not any more unfortunately.’
A Facebook said a popular spot by the riverside was ‘once frequented by little families having a fish and enjoying some family time together. But not any more unfortunately’
A resident named Barry said it wouldn’t be an issue if the vessels were in good condition but many of them ‘half sunk’ he claims
There has been a great deal of conjecture in the community about whether steps should be taken to remove the boats.
Some fear there are a number of liveaboard residents who’ve been forced to stay on their boats due a shortage of rental properties in the area and the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
But Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart is skeptical of those claims and said from what he can see the vast majority of the boats are ‘not inhabited.’
Although there are some laws which restrict living onboard a vessel, the rules are tough to enforce because there is no legislation preventing travelling sailors sleeping overnight on anchor.
MSQ general manager Angus Mitchell said the laws are in need of an upgrade.
‘What is deemed to be a liveaboard? The definitions aren’t entirely clear. Is sleeping one night per week deemed to be living aboard? Is it seven nights a week? Is it coming and just staying on the weekends or once a month?,’ he said.
Noosa Shire Council have now set up a committee to try and solve the problem
But one houseboat owner slammed the ‘jealous and territorial’ attitude of some locals.
‘I am a houseboat owner and take great pride in our occasional weekend, we do no harm. In fact local rowers, Kayakers etc always love to look at our boat and wave and say hello, sometimes even stopping for a chat, that’s the spirit of our river,’ the man said on Facebook.
‘I agree, maybe a handful of houseboats have been neglected and maybe need to be worked on at the slipway, but just take a drive around some of Noosa’s suburbs and look at the many houses in worse repair that are also dilapidated eyesores.
‘Are you going to start naming and shaming particular streets and particular houses too?’