Emergency dredging has taken too long - Tesch
Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch has claimed that the "emergency dredging" of the Ettalong Channel has taken too long and no long term solution is in sight.
"The State Government's failure to implement a long-term solution for the Ettalong Channel is continuing to impact on local commuters, school students and businesses.
"The emergency dredging is only now beginning, despite being announced nine weeks ago, and the community knows that this will fail to provide relief to the ongoing problem in the channel," Ms Tesch said.
She said the NSW Government must take responsibility for their navigable waterway which is clearly a state responsibility.
"The Liberal Government is more than happy to draw an income from boat licences and moorings on our waterways yet they continually fail to provide a real solution to the Ettalong Channel," Ms Tesch said.
"The community is fed up.
"They want to be safe on our local waterways and to use the public transport ferry to get to and from work and school, to visit family and friends and provide a viable service for tourists to access our community," she said.
"Dredging of the channel is economically very important to communities on both sides of the channel.
"Despite the Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, announcing that the $660,000 emergency dredging started on June 25, locals report that they are yet to see the dredge in operation.
"The lack of action is simply not good enough and the Liberal Government is yet again ignoring thousands of people who have signed my petition to the NSW Parliament calling for a proper solution to our dredging concerns.
"The State Liberal Government must stop cost shifting to rate-payers and finally take responsibility for this issue.
"The local community cannot afford to wait any longer for action in our channel.
"Stop spending money on stadiums in Sydney and fix our vital waterway," Ms Tesch said.
Ms Tesch said she had received a written update from NSW Roads and Maritime Services on July 19 implying that the dredging would commence early in the week of July 22.
The update came via the RMS from Crown Lands who are responsible for the delivery of the dredging.
"The contractor, Sandpiper Dredging, has delivered the necessary dredge components and has them located near the Woy Woy boat ramp site," the update said.
"It is the contractor's intention to have a crane available for July 20 to assemble the components by lifting and placing them into the water at the Woy Woy boat ramp," it said.
"During this operation the public boat ramp will be occupied for around six hours, but is subject to crane availability, tides and conducive weather condition.
"The nearby more popular boat ramp will not be affected and will remain available to other users wishing to launch their vessels.
"A pre-construction meeting with the Contractor was held on Wednesday, July 18, NSW RMS was also in attendance.
"Crown Lands, RMS, the contractor and a representative from the Umina Boardriders Club travelled to the entrance of Ettalong Channel to observe the problematic shoaling and discuss the scope of the project.
"Deeper areas to the west of the dredging site for placement of the dredged sand were also identified.
"Placement of sand in these deeper locations has the potential to enhance the popular surf break.
"Today [July 19], the contractor is assembling the pipework at Ettalong Beach.
"At this stage, the weather forecast for early next week looks favourable but conditions could change.
"The dredge will require relatively stable sea conditions (low swell) to operate effectively."
Media release, 24 Jul 2018
Emma Murphy, Office of Liesl Tesch MP
Media statement, 20 Jul 2018
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford