A decision on the SS Dicky’s final resting place is moving forward with Sunshine Coast Council developing three key research and planning documents essential to secure State Government approval for the wreck’s relocation.
A heritage impact assessment will determine the impact of any relocation work being proposed; a conservation management plan will inform the wreck’s long-term preservation; and an interpretive plan will guide the selection of the SS Dicky’s final location and how its history will be conveyed to the public.
Divisional councillor Tim Dwyer said all three documents were necessary for State Government approval and required both research and planning components for the wreck’s successful relocation.
“There are still a number of key milestones to meet before the SS Dicky relocation project can be given the green light,” Cr Dwyer said.
“Some preliminary discussions around the final site location have been progressed and I’m pleased to say all stakeholders agree the wreck must maintain a link to the Dicky Beach precinct.
“We are considering experts’ findings and we will be guided by their advice as to whether the SS Dicky can be relocated in whole or in part and how that will be done.
“As well as relocation approvals, we are also seeking funding support from the State Government to progress the project.
“Final costings on relocating the wreck, creating an interpretive display and long-term conservation methods will be needed before a final decision can be made by council within a few months.
“The Dicky’s been there for 121 years, but time and tide are against us as this piece of our past slowly but surely disappears.
“If we don’t do anything, we are going to lose a visible connection to the SS Dicky in the not too distant future.”
Cr Dwyer said a range of management options for the SS Dicky wreck had been considered and discussed at length by the taskforce which consisted of representatives from Dicky Beach Surf Life Saving Club, community heritage representatives, State Government and council.
“The option to relocate was voted as the best way forward and council has agreed to fund this,” Cr Dwyer said.
“Support from the State Government to assist with this project, I’m sure, would be appreciated by the ratepayers of the Sunshine Coast.
“By relocating the existing structure we can preserve the heritage values of the iconic wreck and also improve public safety at Dicky Beach.
“For me personally, I think it is important to tell the SS Dicky’s story and to have something to show future generations that otherwise would not have the chance or opportunity to see it.
“These essential documents will at least take us to the next stage in this conservation project.”
The SS Dicky ran aground at Caloundra in 1893, its final resting place named after the wreck which has become an attraction for both tourist and residents ever since.
Council agreed to allocate $180,000 towards the project during the 2014/15 budget deliberations.
The funding will cover relocating the wreck above the tidal area and associated survey works before and after relocation, developing an interpretative area and relocating the wreck to its final resting place and ongoing preservation to ensure heritage and conservation values are maintained.
· The iron hulled steamer was built in Germany in 1883
· It operated as a coastal trader in and around Australia from 1887
· The vessel was driven ashore at Caloundra during poor weather in February 1893.
· A number of efforts to refloat the SS Dicky were unsuccessful and a decision made to abandon it.
· No loss of life occurred.
· There was a major collapse of the ship’s structure in 1920s.
· Some restoration work was undertaken in 2006.
· Recent extreme weather events have caused catastrophic failure of the wreck.
· A taskforce was formed in 2013 to develop a long-term strategy.