Council is procrastinating, says Chamber
Central Coast Council is procrastinating over the Ettalong Channel, according to the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber has expressed disappointment with the council's delay in deciding to buy a dredge.
"We just want action," said Chamber president Mr Matthew Wales.
"Yet again we see further procrastination by this Council over the issue of purchasing a dredge to deal with the constant silting and closure of the Ettalong channel and massive erosion of Ocean Beach.
"It was evident from last night's debate that there is a massive lack of understanding by the councillors over the Brisbane Water estuary issues and relevant responsibilities over the channel," Mr Wales said.
"Despite the best attempts by Cr Greg Best and Cr Rebecca Gail-Collins to get the motion up, the councillors watered down the motion for yet more briefings, more legal advice, more studies and more costings," he said.
"Council has also advised that it currently has three grant applications before the NSW State Government, one of which includes the purchase of a dredge.
"It is my understanding that the NSW State Government has made it very clear to the Council that it does not provide funds for infrastructure such as dredges.
"Its role is to fund the operation of that infrastructure.
"Further, the NSW Government has made it clear to the Council that the Ettalong Channel and estuary are the Council's responsibility but is still prepared to co-fund the dredging operation.
"While the Council continues to procrastinate, the Ettalong Channel gets worse on a daily basis, the Ocean Beach foreshore continues to erode and our tourism industry continues to suffer.
"The day is fast approaching when Palm Beach Ferries will have to seriously look at the ongoing viability of the Ettalong service.
"No commercial operator is going to risk an accident in that channel while the Council continues to delay making a decision on the long term solution to the problem.
"The Chamber doesn't care who is financially responsible for the channel.
"Whether it is rates or state taxes, it's all our money.
"The time for further delays has passed," he said.
Media release, 27 Feb 2018
Matthew Wales, Peninsula Chamber of Commerce