Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour04
Shute harbour Restoration project

The marine facility at Shute Harbour was damaged extensively during Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, with funding for major repairs recently granted by insurers and through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

At this stage, Council will only be able to restore the damaged terminal buildings, seawall, jetties and pontoons, however there is an opportunity for future-proofing the site.

Before major restoration works take place over the next year, Council undertook community consultation to find out what the community feels is important for the future of Shute Harbour. Find out more about this project and the consultation process here.


Shute Harbour opened in 1961. Shute Harbour was devoted exclusively to tourism after sugar was transferred to bulk handling facilities at Mackay. The Lloyd Roberts Jetty was constructed during 1961 and completed in December 1961. An A-frame building was opened on the landward side of the jetty for tourist and visitor bookings.  

Since the establishment of Shute Harbour in the 1960's the tourism traffic through the facility to the Whitsunday Islands flourished.  The Shute Harbour facilities have undergone several changes to the building and facilities with  major changes occurring in the early 1970's (car parking and South Molle Jetty), in the middle of the eighties (additional Terminal facility Lloyd Roberts) and early 1990/2000's (SHIFT demolition and reconstruction of terminal facility at Lloyd Roberts Jetty and the addition of the floating pontoons). The floating pontoons, you see today, were added to both concrete jetties between 1999 and 2000.

The ferry traffic to the island was operated by various contractors over the years more recently the operators were Fantasea and Cruise Whitsunday. In September 2014, Cruise Whitsunday vacated the terminal facility and moved almost all ferry traffic to the new terminal at Port of Airlie.

Recently, Cardno Ullman and Nolan (Cardno) were engaged to prepare a peer review of the GHD Condition assessment of all the Shute harbour jetties and pontoons which was a review of previous reports as well as updated physical inspections. Cardno prepared a report with findings and recommendations which were presented to Council recently. Fundamentally, the findings are clear that the jetties and pontoons need a significant amount of work to repair them and Council needs to consider the long term future of the facilities.

One of the jetties that is now beyond the capacity of Council to repair is the South Molle Jetty. The engineering reports suggest that a major refurbishment of pylons and replacement of the concrete decking is required and that would cost at least $2.5million. At the Council meeting on the 10th August 2016, Council; decided to accept the quotation from Cardno to project manage the demolition of the South Molle Jetty.

shute harbour car park

Whitsunday Regional Council resolved at the Ordinary Meeting on 10 August 2016 to move forward with an application to the Department of Natural Resources and Mining to convert two parts of the Road Reserve on the Upper Car Park at Shute Harbour.

Click here to view a diagram that shows the areas that Council are looking to convert to Freehold. These two potential parcels of land will not impact on Whitsunday Drive and access to Shute Haven and Airlie. If this application is successful Council will close the car parks, process a Development Application to enable the land to be used for a different use then sell the land by Public Tender. It is intended to use the proceeds from the sale of the land on the facilities at Shute Harbour.

2016 shute harbour project updates

Council provided regular project updates to interested residents regarding the future of Shute Harbour and its associated facilities before Cyclone Debbie caused major damage to the facility. Click on a link below to view an update.
Project Update #01 [PDF 218KB]
Project Update #02 [PDF 260KB]
Project Update #03 [PDF 368KB]
Project Update #04 [PDF 883KB]

Cardno Reports

Lloyd Roberts Jetty Physical Testing - Chloride Ingress [PDF 1.13MB]
Shute Harbour Terminal Building Structural Condition Report [PDF 3.60 MB]

  1. P  1300 WRC QLD (1300 972 753)

    67 Herbert Street, Bowen
    Shop 23 Whitsunday Plaza, Cannonvale
    Cnr. Stanley and Conway Streets, Collinsville
    52 Main Street, Proserpine
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