Great Lakes Council has announced the appointment of Neumann Dredging to conduct a program to clear the sand blocked navigational channel near the area known as the Dog Leg.
The dredging program is expected to begin shortly after 1 May with the dredged sand to be used to restore the beach west of Barnes Rocks.
Myall River Action Group spokesperson Mr Gordon Grainger said the group have been campaigning to complete the unfinished program of clearing the Eastern Channel for some time.
“The unfinished Eastern Channel will require funding of up to $150,000 for completion and whilst funds are being sought from Government sources, Great Lakes Council were not hopeful at this point,” Mr Grainger said.
“They do point out that some responsibility remains with Port Stephens Council who have ownership to the high tide mark on the north side of Port Stephens, however Great Lakes Council are not hopeful of a favourable outcome.”
Mr Grainger said Great Lakes Council were considering a land based excavation as a cheaper and temporary alternative.
The Myall River Action Group have also been working in conjunction with Tea Gardens Slipway Association.
“We have been advocating dredging the mooring area known as the Gut, located between Slip Island and Marine Drive,” Mr Grainger said.
“It seems logical to complete these tasks while a suitable dredge is on site.”
The Gut is home to a number of large vessels and has been suffering from sand inundation for a number of years.
Mr Grainger said the situation has now reached the stage where boat owners can only use their craft at high tide as the vessels are resting on sand which could cause major damage.
“Council are in agreement that remedial dredging is urgently needed and is waiting on final confirmation on funding and State Government approvals,” Mr Grainger said.
“They are working hard to ensure the job is completed during winter.”
Mr Grainger reported due to the Gut being a confined area, the Neumann dredge is too large and Council are sourcing a smaller dredge with expertise in the use of Geo bags.
These bags will be used to dry the wet sand before transportation to storage site.