Work has started as the NSW Government prepares to dredge the Swansea Channel for the summer boating season.
Dredging will extend from the Pelican Foreshore in the south, including the channels south-west and east of Elizabeth Island.
The dredge is being assembled at Rathmines Boat Ramp before it is towed into Swan Bay.
Work will then begin to remove up to 30,000 cubic metres of sand from the Swansea Channel bed via two dredging campaigns to create a safe, navigable 30-metre wide channel for boats.
Measures will be put in place to protect environmentally sensitive areas including buffer areas to prevent disturbance of seagrass and daily water quality monitoring.
A Shorebird Management Plan has been developed that specifically addresses the protection and habitat creation for the Pied Oystercatcher.
GPM Marine have been appointed to carry out the dredging.
Site establishment and preparation works now under way mark the start of the dredging project and sand pumping will begin in August.
Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said:
“This much needed dredging work will get Swansea and the Lake Macquarie Region ready for the summer ahead.”
“Removing years of build-up from the Swansea Channel will make it safer and easier for boat users in the region.”
Our aim is to get the first round of work done by the end of November, so everyone in and around Swansea and the broader Lake Macquarie region can make the most of the summer boating season.
Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley said:
“The community has been crying out for Swansea Channel to be dredged for too long and I am thrilled that this important work has now begun.
“This work will seriously improve the channel’s boating capacity and it recognises the importance of our local waterways as an environmental, social and economic asset.
“The previous Government allowed the dredging backlog to build up over 12 years, so now we are fixing the issues we inherited and fulfilling an election commitment to dredge Swansea Channel.”