Permanent budget needed to keep waterways open
The proposal to divert dredging funds from the Brisbane Water entrance to the Tuggerah Lakes entrance ("Proposal to divert dredging funds", edition 485) is typical of the half-baked approach of the Council to fundamental questions about the region's future.
Instead of Council's thinking a problem through, we have the standard knee-jerk response to a publicised issue that passes for decision-making amongst our representatives.
The fact is that there is a natural geological process going on that will, eventually, lead to the disappearance of both these water bodies, and the accumulation of alluvial deposit in the entrances is just the most obvious manifestation of this process.
If the Council is determined to act contrary to the natural course of events, it must take on a determined commitment to the funding of dredging activities as long into the future as anybody wants to make use of this estuary.
This means a permanent budget provision and an ongoing program of dredging, to remove sandbars and keep channels open.
Anything less than this is just grandstanding over the issue.
The first requirement is to have a serious debate about whether we want to keep these waterways open.
So far, everybody involved seems to take it for granted that this is the case, but nobody has actually asked the question of the community.
If the community is brought into the picture and made aware of the ramifications of deciding either way, then there can be a proper mandate for whatever strategy is formulated and whatever financial provision is adopted.
As it is, all discussion is just beating the air, without clarifying the matter for ratepayers who are the ones entitled to the final say.
There have been multiple technical reports related to the condition of the estuary, but where is the overview that should provide the guidance for any future direction.
Email, 24 Dec 2019
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy