3 October 2018
In the 2017/18 financial year, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure spent $1.3 million upgrading various navigation beacons around the State.
Twenty-one new beacons were installed in Spencer Gulf north of Douglas Bank, twenty-four in Barker Inlet, and beacons at Woods Point (north of Port Broughton), Walrus Rock (north of Port Hughes), Franklin Harbour (entrance beacon), Port Victoria (Eclipse Rock) and Kangaroo Island (Emu Bay and Bay of Shoals) were replaced. The location and details of the new beacons have been provided in Notices to Mariners.
DPTI has spent more than $10 million over the past nine years upgrading beacons in various navigation channels such as Port Broughton, Port Augusta, Franklin Harbour, Port MacDonnell, Coffin Bay, Lake Alexandrina, Streaky Bay and Venus Bay, in addition to individual beacons around the state.
Boat owners pay a levy into the Facilities Fund (Marine) as part of the boat registration fees, and these levies have been used in part to fund the navigation beacon upgrades.
Before upgrading beacons, DPTI undertakes a detailed hydrographic survey to determine water depths around the navigation channels and to review the positions of the existing beacons.
Quite often existing beacons are not replaced in the same position as new sand bars may have developed since the beacons were last installed.
On completion of the works, the hydrographic survey and the new beacon details are provided to the Australian Hydrographic Service so that the navigation charts can be updated with the latest information.