Works are set to commence swiftly to stabilise the Beaconsfield Hart Shaft, which was damaged by the June flood event, after the state government committed to supplying immediate funding support.
Premier Will Hodgman said his government would work hand-in-hand with the West Tamar Council to rapidly take steps to prevent the creation of a 35-metre-wide sinkhole at the Beaconsfield mine yard.
Pitt and Sherry engineers prepared the report which outlined significant cracking and surface subsidence caused by the heaviest rainfall recorded at the site since the shaft was reestablished in 1988.
“Following the extraordinary flooding events that the state suffered earlier this year we anticipated ongoing impacts and what’s happened with the shaft at Beaconsfield mine, which presents a real risk to what is very much an iconic part of Tasmania’s mining heritage but also our tourism industry, needs immediate remediation,” Mr Hodgman said.
Despite no commitment of federal funding for the $1.25 million project, the state government has agreed to fund up to half of the costs to complete the repairs while continuing to lobby for Commonwealth support.
Liberal senator Jonathon Duniam is continuing to pursue a grant under the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement.
If the application is successful, the federal government would cover 50 per cent of the repair bill, while the state government and West Tamar Council would each pay 25 per cent.
West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl said the council passed a motion at its meeting on Tuesday to begin the work immediately, prior to confirmation of the state or federal funding.
“We don’t have the luxury of sitting and waiting until all the boxes are ticked,” she said. “We hope that the federal government does understand the urgency of the matter and that they will look kindly on our dilemma.”
She said the council is still to decide if it will pay for its portion of the repairs out of its reserves or whether the council would rework its current budget by deferring capital works already planned.
“We are certainly pushing our consultants on the ground here in Launceston to come up with a starting date for us, they are working very hard but it’s just a matter of having to wait for the company on the mainland to confirm their availability,” councillor Holmdahl said.