Nairns: Houseboat owner told to move on

Graham Corp must relocate his houseboat from the Serpentine River.
Graham Corp must relocate his houseboat from the Serpentine River.

THE owner of a houseboat moored in the Serpentine River at Nairns has been told to move on by the City of Mandurah.

City councillors decided at their meeting last night that Graham Corp must remove all mooring ropes, mooring piles, gangplanks and other means of attaching his houseboat to land or riverbed and vacate any part of Lot 440, Beacham Street.

The area of foreshore is owned by the Shire of Murray but leased to the City of Mandurah.

More than 30 years ago, when the Dawesville Channel was built, the Department of Water built jetties for mooring weed harvesters but last year, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation demolished and removed the deteriorating jetties.

A number of houseboats had used the area and relocated elsewhere when asked, according to a council report, but Mr Corp returned, mooring the vessel adjacent to public open space.

The houseboat used several anchors, the owner had driven mooring piles into the river bed and additional mooring lines had been tied to trees and the foreshore retaining wall, the report claimed.

Access was via a gangplank.

The council, which received two complaints from nearby residents, said public reserves were for the enjoyment of the community and did not include permanent access by a vessel wanting foreshore access.

The houseboat owner did not pay a jetty licence nor contribute financially to maintenance of the waterway and presented a marine safety issue in that the mooring piles were not vetted by an appropriate or authorised agent.

According to the council, there were numerous mooring facilities in the City that would service the need of the houseboat as they did for the many houseboats registered in the Peel-Harvey Estuary.

Last year, Mr Corp vowed not to leave without a fight and said his houseboat helped deter anti-social behaviour and that he had restored parts of the river bank.