Dredging up Old Memories

WITT ISLAND: Circa 1940s. Photo Courtesy of Janis Wynn
WITT ISLAND: Circa 1940s. Photo Courtesy of Janis Wynn

 

MEMBERS of the Myall River Action group are holding more talks this week with the Department of Primary Industries in regards to the financing the dredging of the Gut at Tea Gardens.

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Long time resident Tim Motum is also in favour of dredging the stretch which runs along Marine Drive.

Mr Motum is a fourth generation Tea Gardens resident.

“I have lived adjacent and near the ‘Gutway’ since 1943,” Mr Motum said.

“Although not a through channel at low tide, boats drawing less than 1.8 m could always go through at high tide and it was used as a useful shortcut.”

“Cook’s Mill was situated just north west of the Oyster Hut and saw ocean going sailing boats loading sawn timber for Sydney and beyond.”

Tim Motum backs up his local history knowledge with photographs courtesy of Janis Wynn showing Witt Island surrounded by water and the large boats that used to sail up and down the ‘Gutway’.

“The depth of this sheltered waterway was never an issue until a few years ago when prolonged low salinity and other factors saw sand build up in many places,” Mr Motum said.

The ‘Gut’ hasn’t been dredged since 1960.

Debate continues over who is responsible for the dredge, MidCoast Council, Maritime Services or Department of Primary Industries.

 

By Margie TIERNEY

 

SAILING THE ‘GUT’. Photo Courtesy of Janis Wynn
SAILING THE ‘GUT’. Photo Courtesy of Janis Wynn

 

DREDGING ADVOCATE: Tim Motum.
DREDGING ADVOCATE: Tim Motum.

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