Myall River Action Group’s Future FEATURED Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest by Dave Brazier - April 14, 2015April 14, 2015 The Myall River Action Group’s (MRAG) meeting last week was the first meeting since Council advised that the Birdon’s dredging program is expected to begin installation of infrastructure from 1 May. Gordon Grainger frustrated at recent announcment Gordon Grainger from MRAG said the dredge is expected to be operational within the second week of May. “The length of the program will be dictated by weather, however it’s anticipated to finish mid to end of June, when work will begin on the navigational channel,” said Mr Grainger. “The support previously provided by Craig Baumann MP and candidate Ken Jordan has been appreciated and we have been assured that such support will continue through the newly elected Kate Washington, member for Port Stephens,” he said. The purpose of last weeks meeting was to commence preparation for a long anticipated Community Celebration to also formalise the Groups’ (MRAG) future direction. Saturday of the long weekend, 6 June, was tabled for the Community Celebration day. It was proposed to be held at Moira Parade Hawks Nest and now Council approval would be the next step. Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Len Roberts was present at the meeting and agreed to follow this up. A theme for the event is yet to be finalised, however it was thought it should be linked to the Community effort over the past 6 years and the importance of this river to our communities and visitors. The future direction of the Group was also discussed. The Group is seen as a watch dog on the Lower Myall River quality and a voice when needed to improve the ambience and general amenity of the area. Mr Grainger said that the Group has achieved the initial objective of dredging the natural channel and returning the river to the oceanic condition it once had in the Lower Myall. “It has assisted Council in achieving a long term solution to the Jimmies Beach conundrum – if not completely at least at a cost reduction to the community,” he said. The Group has also assisted Council in awareness of the deterioration of Ramsar listed Corrie Island, been a major voice resulting in the installation of the public and ferry wharves in Tea Gardens as well as achieving the promise of $500K for new wharves and foreshore improvement to be completed over the next 2 years. The Group has unanimously agreed that it will continue into the foreseeable future. The membership is unchanged and the MRAG is a non-financed group of local residents. There will be no change to this. The Group will restrict its’ activities to those affecting the Myall River and into the Lake system and will be pro-active in dredging maintenance including up-river, extending wharf capacity and monitoring water quality including possible return of fish disease. MRAG anticipate to meet again within the next two weeks.