Dredging Yet to Take Place
On Wednesday a year passed since Taylor Martin MLC - Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter announced that Swansea Channel, would be the first of five NSW waterways to benefit from the NSW Government’s $6.2 million dredging program. This funding was announced as stimulus funding.
The Government has now confirmed that a contractor is still yet to be appointed to carry out delayed dredge works, and Transport for NSW have stated that they are working as quickly as possible to carry out the works, but this wont be until at least September.
The lack of dredging has prevented local and visiting boaties from travelling through Lake Macquarie because sections of the Channel, including Swan Bay, continue to silt and reduce the depth of the Channel. Boaties not being able to access this key waterway has had an impact on the success of local sailing events like the Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta. Such events hold the potential to drive visitors to the region and boost local business, but this is limited because the NSW Government is yet to rollout their dredging program.
Time and time again I have raised with the Government the urgent need to dredge the Channel, as well as the importance of developing a permanent solution to the silting. However, the Government have failed to take appropriate action. The dredging of Swansea Channel is well and truly overdue. It is time for the Government to deliver this crucial dredging program.