NSW Government says there’s no money for dredging the Myall Coast

MYALL RIVER: Dredging for the sand stockpile.
MYALL RIVER: Dredging for the sand stockpile.

f you believe that dredging is the way to go to keep the Lower Myall River system in excellent health then you’ll be very disappointed in the State Government’s latest stand on the issue.

NSW Minister for Primary Industry, Lands and Water, Niall Blair says any dredging of the Myall River to improve boating access rests with the MidCoast Council.

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In a letter to the member for Myall Lakes, Minister Stephen Bromhead said, “There is a strong demand for dredging across the State to improve navigational and environmental health.

“While State Government funding is available it is allocated on a priority basis,” Mr Blair said.

Further, “Under the current program, Myall River is considered a local waterway and responsibility for dredging to improve boating access rests with MidCoast Council,” Mr Blair said.

At a recent community meeting in Hawks Nest, Executives with MidCoast Council made it very clear there would be no further dredging of the Eastern Channel for at least six to seven years.

The Myall River Action Group (MRAG) is calling on the community to lobby MidCoast Council and the Department of Industry, Lands and Water to re classify the Eastern Channel or so called Short Cut.

Spokesman for the MRAG Mr Gordon Grainger says the current navigational channel is man-made and false.

“Eventually Mother Nature will achieve her attempts at reforming the natural channel, she just needs a little help from us.”

‘’The dredging conducted last October has changed the river complexion, brought it back to what it was.”

“What we wish to achieve is for Lands to consider the eastern channel as a necessary channel in supporting the future of our community.’’

“We are aware that MidCoast Council is cash strapped and left to their demands we will come well down the list.

“Their obligation is to maintain sand replenishment on Jimmies Beach, the Eastern Channel as a sand source, however we have no guarantee of dredging maintenance as does Swansea.’’

“We need to have the same attention as does the Swansea channel.”

By Margie TIERNEY

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