Bunbury Lighthouse: new lease on life for distinctive chequered protector
A striking local landmark, the Bunbury Lighthouse stands 25 metres above the ground and features a distinctive checkerboard pattern.
When lighthouse managers, Southern Ports Authority, embarked on the renovation and repair of this important local icon – which is used to guide ships safely into Koombana Bay – little did they know the coronavirus pandemic was about to throw a potential spanner into the project plan.
Fortunately, Dulux Protective Coatings had been engaged to provide the coatings system for the restoration and could continue to deliver the products required, without interruption, despite COVID-19 forcing an introduction of travel restrictions across Western Australia.
“Our distribution network ensured no disruption of the project’s timelines despite sudden state restrictions and the closing of regional borders,” explains Dulux Protective Coatings Consultant, Nathan Hines.
“The project team at Tasman Rope Access were purchasing Dulux PC coatings products from Dulux Inspirations in Rockingham. When WA went into shutdown, our distribution model allowed us to seamlessly transition to supply out of Bunbury instead, to ensure the project remained on program,” Nathan explains.
Coatings to weather the storm
Located in a harsh coastal environment, the Bunbury Lighthouse looks out over the Indian Ocean. A highly durable coatings system was required to protect this prominent landmark for years to come.
“We recommended a three-step process, starting with Dulux Durebild STE, followed by Dulux Durebild STE MIO. These surface tolerant epoxies have been developed specifically for tough Australian conditions,” says Nathan.
The Durebild range is principally used as high-performance maintenance coatings over hand, power tool or high-pressure water cleaned surfaces, where blasting is impractical or not allowed.
“In the case of the Bunbury Lighthouse, sandblasting was not an environmentally friendly option due to the surrounding beach and vegetation. Water jetting was used instead to prepare the surface, with coatings applied using power rollers.”
Finally, a top-coat of Dulux Weathermax HBR, a two pack polyurethane, was chosen for its excellent gloss and colour retention properties.
The Bunbury Lighthouse project team had confidence in Dulux Protective Coatings to formulate an ideal coatings system.
“We have a track record of delivering high quality coatings systems for lighthouses in the south west of WA, including our involvement in the renovation of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse in 2019,” says Nathan.
Bunbury’s distinctive checks given a new lease on life
A prominent feature of the Bunbury landscape, whose light is visible from 27 kilometres away, the unique black and white checks of this hard-working protector are said to have been inspired by Bunbury Port’s longest-serving Harbour Master. Captain Allsop (1963 – 1988) had a fondness for black and white Scotch Terriers, and Black and White Whisky, hence the distinctive black and white exterior.
All repairs were conducted using ropes instead of traditional scaffolding.
“The reason they worked on ropes was the proximity to local residents,” said Southern Ports Bunbury regional manager, Lee Smith.
“We did not want to embark on a full scaffolding and spray-painting arrangement because we potentially could have over sprayed and damaged houses.”
Bunbury Lighthouse was built in 1970, incorporating a new tapered lower structure and three cylinders from a lighthouse previously located at nearby Marlston Hill.
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