What will Council do this year when dredging at the Tuross Boat ramp?
The village meeting with Andrew Constance on Nov 21st saw the issue of the Tuross Boat ramp raised. The boatramp issue is an important one for Tuross Head as it is vital that the ramp provides servicable and satisfactory access to Tuross Lake for local and visiting anglers alike. Fishing in Tuross Lake is a key tourism contributor to the town and with summer fast approaching locals are once again looking with concern at the movement of the sand and wondering what Council will do this time to provide a "remedy". The "remedy" provided by Council for last summer was, in the opinion of many in the community, a total waste of time and money. No sooner was the sand lifted by an excavator at low tide would it return to the same location at hightide. Onlookers could see little science or engineering behind the barge and digger cutting a trench perpendicular to the twice daily tidal flow. The only ones who benefited from the project that cost more than $15,000 were the local pelicans. Within days the newly formed island was called "Gilligans Island"
In February this year the Tuross Head Business Owners Association wrote to Council requesting that Council provide some absolute answers to some very pointed questions: 1) Can Council advise if there was any engineering consideration to where the access channel might best be excavated to ensure it remained opened for the maximum amount of time. 2) Can Council provide the meeting with the calculations and research it used to determine the location of the channel they dug. 3) Can Council advise why the channel was cut perpendicular to the flow of tide that saw the extracted channel spoil infilled each successive high tide. 4) Can Council advise if they had any constraints placed on them by Marine Parks as to where they could excavate and the method that would be allowed to excavate. What exactly were those constraints. 5) Can Council advise how much money the excavation of the channel cost and previous dredging of the boat basin in December 2015 cost. 6) Based on the costs above does Council believe that this was money well spent. 7) Based on the end result would Council choose to repeat the method they used in the location they chose? 8) Based on the result would the State Government contribute further money to be used by Eurobodalla Shire Council to provide a channel access. Council responded to the THBOA: Thank you for your letter dated 27 February 2016 and the invitation to a meeting, specifically to undertake a debrief of the Lavender Bay excavation works. The works undertaken this financial year have included excavation adjacent to the ramp itself as well as cutting a second channel from the ramp to the main channel. This latter work was undertaken by discussion with the Tuross Head Fishing Club and the NSW Maritime Services. We continue to monitor the effectiveness of both components of the work, therefore it is premature to undertake a review. Editors Note: While Council suggests it is premature to undertake a review the above questions stand and specific answers will be requested to them by the Tuross Head Progress Association and the Tuross Head Business Owners in the coming weeks. In the meantime the THPA and the THBOA along with the Tuross Marine Rescue and Tuross Head Fishing Club will be pressing Council to sit down around a table and discuss the staged management of constructing a new boatramp in the area opposite Lake Street as per the community agreed Option based on community consultation so that it can be progressively funded from a variety of grants.