THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority has concluded up a $1.2-million refurbishment of the remote Newman Reef aid to navigation, north-east of Thursday Island.

The project began in November 2023 and aims to enhance shipping safety in Torres Strait

It involved removing the existing platform, fenders and ladder access; fabricating and installing a new large diameter pile, fenders, ladder access and stainless-steel platform; and installing solar power supply and AtoN equipment, stainless steel enclosures and lightning protection system.

Refurbishment was carried out using a 33-metre utility vessel, 50-metre construction barge and 80-tonne crane, with the barge and crane manoeuvred alongside the AtoN by two smaller craft.

Mike Wytcherley, AMSA’s manager of asset management and preparedness, said AMSA had completed the project on time and on budget.

“Undertaking such a complex job in a remote area with specialised equipment presents significant challenges and we commend the contractor, Pacific Marine Group, for the successful completion of this project,” he said.

“Vessels passing through the Torres Strait rely on these aids to navigation to keep them safe.

“This marker warns seafarers of the low-lying Newman Reef, which poses a significant hazard that is often difficult to see from sea level.”