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Collapse Issue 429 - 02 Oct 2017Issue 429 - 02 Oct 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Pursuit of ferry captain 'cowardly act', says Tesch
Phyllis celebrates 103rd birthday
Providers sought for train phone and internet services
Oyster Festival to continue in its own right
Planning panel approves new aged care facility
Patonga Hotel has been sold
Independent councillors elected to top jobs
Peninsula's future needs 'thought', says mayor
Chamber calls for high density residential zone
Exchange student lives through earthquake
CPI rise for Davistown ferry, but not for Palm Beach
Emergency dredging starts again with new funding
Woman dies after apparent domestic violence incident
Road maintenance slows Rip Bridge traffic
Seafood restaurant starts renovations
Tax Office sells benefits of Gosford building
Building industry shows confidence, says Chamber
Road upgrades due to start
Barber's shop to close after 50 years
Long-term Bays resident dies
Coloured water explanation 'not good enough'
Assistant commissioner visits Umina PCYC
Bays group members meet fire service committee
Rotary collects a ute load
Annual fashion parade at The Bays
Guide Dog handler to speak at library
Workmanship awards presented by Rotary club
Road safety seminars for seniors
Council needs new direction, says Shadow Minister
Woy Woy butchery makes champion sausage
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Electoral officer could have played nicely
Redevelopment to target seniors for poker machines?
Will council continue to sideline the scientists?
New councillors comments 'interesting and enlightening'
Hope that mayor stands up for policies she expressed
Famous people have visited Woy Woy
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Aged care provider selected as finalist
Open day at aged care facility
Annual meeting
Hospital auxiliary volunteers are thanked
Campaign to raise funds for chemotherapy
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Craft centre to participate in community raffle
Grant winner expresses gratitude
Author to talk at Woy Woy library
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Rotary to sponsor students to attend Dookie
Stilts, sack races and hoop jumping at carnival
Woy Woy raises $7400 in rope jump
Community group offers scholarship
Principal reflects on Term 3
A greater appreciation of democracy
Students take tour of national capital
Kindergarten has cultural excursion
Men's Shed refurbishes sandpit
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Jemma selected for international challenge
Sherriff named Central Coast champion
Umina wins pool challenge
Men of League held at bowling club
Mixed results for junior rugby union
Charity day attracts 50 bowlers
Bridge club comes to end of year
Beach patrols start for summer
President reports at junior rugby presentations
Gym holds open day
Young lifesaver to be honoured with award

Pursuit of ferry captain 'cowardly act', says Tesch

The man at the helm of a ferry that ran aground in the Ettalong Channel is being investigated by NSW Roads and Maritime Services, according to Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.

Ms Tesch has labelled the NSW Government's pursuit of the captain of the ferry that ran aground on a sandbar in the silted up Ettalong Channel a "cowardly act".

The Palm Beach to Ettalong ferry was grounded in July and continues to be regularly diverted due to tidal patterns in the mouth of Brisbane Water, according to Ms Tesch.

"This incident occurred only two weeks after the first round of emergency dredging was undertaken at the site," Ms Tesch said.

Ms Tesch said she was appalled at the attitude of the NSW Government.

"If the NSW Government and RMS try to peg this failing on the driver when it's likely to be due to the failure of the inadequate dredging, then that is a low act," Ms Tesch said.

"At every step of the way, this Liberal Government has shirked its responsibility to the community to create safe and navigable waterways," she said.

"I expect that the skipper will be exonerated at the end of this, and I hope that this investigation doesn't leave a red mark on his record."

Ms Tesch said she wrote to the Minister for Planning, Mr Paul Toole, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, in August to raise her concerns about the inadequate response from the Liberal Government.

"It is unacceptable for the NSW Government to provide just $150,000 in funding, which was clearly not enough to do an appropriate job, and then walk away," she said.

"The NSW Government needs to urgently invest in a long term solution to this problem.

"If the government is willing to put $10 million over four years to fund dredging on the North Coast, then they can't keep saying it's a local government issue only.

"We have a new Council and the NSW Liberal Government needs to come back to the table and negotiate in good faith to get this issue sorted."

Ms Tesch thanked Fantasea Cruises and their staff for their flexibility during this disruptive time, and commended them for keeping commuters and tourists on the move despite recent regular diversions to Patonga.

The current situation has created an atmosphere of uncertainty in the local area with businesses, commuters and tourists fearing for the future of the waterway, she said.

"If suitable dredging is not carried out immediately, incidents like this will become commonplace."

Ms Tesch said Mr MacDonald had to do more than make piecemeal offerings to the Coast and to step up and fight for our community in Government.

"The Government cannot ignore the adverse effect this issue is having on the day-to-day lives, and livelihoods, of ferry operators, commuters, tourists and commercial fisherman who rely on this crucial waterway," Ms Tesch said.

"If Scot MacDonald is serious about being the Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, then he actually needs to knock on those doors next to his in Macquarie St and get the funding the Coast needs.

"If the channel remains in its current state, there is a very serious risk of harm to recreational and commercial vessels as well as the potential for irrevocable damage to the confidence of local operators.

"We need to work to promote our strong tourism industry and ensure there are no barriers to businesses that rely on the channel to operate."

The NSW Government announced an additional $160,000 in emergency dredging the day after Ms Tesch's statements.

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