Channel needs State planning, says committee chair
The Peninsula Waterways Committee has contacted local candidates for the major parties about maintenance of the Ettalong Channel, committee chair Mr Mike Allsop has said.
"There is a growing sense that the State Government needs to realise the importance of this waterway to tourism, public transport, commercial users and recreational users, and include this waterway in State planning where currently no mention is made," he said.
"Our sense is that there is still concern in the waterways user fraternity, especially among yachties, although the ferry operator is satisfied at present."
Mr Allsop said: "The dredge is idle, waiting on a program of work to distribute the sand already re-moved to a spot further down towards Umina Beach.
"That piece of the puzzle needs sorting as soon as possible so that future resilience can be built into the waterway interface to Broken Bay.
Writing in the latest edition of the Wagstaffe to Killcare Community Association newsletter, Mr Allsop said: "As you may know the Peninsula Waterways Committee was set up in October to keep focus on channel dredging, future works, responsibilities and funding.
"I chair this group with members from both sides of the waterway.
"The group has been very focussed on meeting with local Members and council representatives to get their perspective on the issues surrounding waterways' maintenance and maintaining both a program of work and ongoing funding.
"We have also met with various technical experts as well as marina operators and deep keel users.
"What are they saying about the channel?
"It's a bit mixed, but much better than it was nine months ago," Mr Allsop said.
"They all say that a long-term program of work is needed, informed by proper analysis.
"Fair enough, but we still have the issue of 'I'll pay if you pay' between council and the State which needs to be settled," he said.
Newsletter, 10 Mar 2019
Peta Colebatch, WTKCA