Council should spend up to $20m on dredge, says Chamber

Dredge work off Lobster BeachDredge work off Lobster Beach. Archive image 2017

Central Coast Council should buy an ocean-going multipurpose dredge to service the Ettalong Beach Channel and Brisbane Water estuary on a permanent basis, according to Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

“We believe any investment up to $20 million would be money well spent in order to protect our navigable waterways, renourish our beaches and save tourism in Brisbane Waters and the Peninsula,” said Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales. “The time has come for Council to cease the procrastination and allocate funds in the upcoming 2018- 2019 budget to purchase a suitable ocean-going dredge to service the Ettalong Beach Channel,” said Mr Wales. “Regardless of who is responsible for the dredging of the entry to the Brisbane Water estuary, a dredge is going to be required on an ongoing basis so that a permanent solution is put in place to keep the channel open and the Ocean Beach and Umina Beach beachfront renourished.

“The State Government has made it clear to everyone that they will not be funding capital equipment as part of any dredging application. “They will only fund the works,” Mr Wales continued. “So either the Council will need to engage a contractor as they have in the past or invest in a new dredge that can be used for multiple functions in the Brisbane Water estuary. “Because the problem is not going to go away, it would make sense for the new Council to invest in its own dredging equipment which can be permanently moored somewhere at the entry to Brisbane Waters and utilised to keep our waterways safe and our beaches renourished,” said Mr Wales. “Dredging and beach renourishment is common practice all along the east coast of Australia especially in places like Noosa where the local Council has been pro-active in protecting and renourishing their best asset Noosa Beach. “The Peninsula deserves nothing less. “The Chamber is calling on the Council to investigate the cost of a suitable multipurpose dredge and allocate funds in the 2018-209 Council Budget.

SOURCE: Media release, 22 Feb 2018 Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

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