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$450,000 committed to Batemans Bay dredging

📸 Batemans Bay Marina Concerns over the shallow depth of the Batemans Bay bar have been heard by Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, with the NSW Transport and Infrastructure Minister today announcing an allocation of almost $450,000 for dredging The Member for Bega said in the announcement at the Batemans Bay Marina “I want to thank the boating community and the marina who have highlighted concerns about the bar, which was dredged in 2016.” Mr Constance announced that the NSW Government will invest almost $450,000 into the Clyde River entrance bar for dredging in the coming months. Mr Constance said I am pleased that these funds have now been allocated and will go a long way to assisting with the safe passage at the entrance to the Clyde River. “The concerns raised by local boaters were heard and I advocated for this funding to ensure the safety of vessels and operators coming into our beautiful part of the world are not compromised,” Mr Constance said. “The process will start with a hydrographic survey to be completed in February, weather permitting, to help determine the scope of dredging, with works to follow. “As part of the works, Council has been consulted in helping to identify nearby foreshore areas which may benefit from sand replenishment. “In December 2018 the NSW Government released the NSW Maritime Infrastructure Plan, developed as a joint initiative between Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services and the Department of Industry - Crown Lands. “The Plan notes the importance of maintaining accessible navigation channels in key investment locations, including the Batemans Bay (Clyde River) entrance channel,” said Mr Constance. “I have also asked that the entrance to the Tomaga River be looked at during the investigation phase of these works.” Mr Daimon Martin, Batemans Bay Marina, General Manager has welcomed the announcement today by Andrew Constance. "Our thanks and appreciation goes to Andrew, who has been instrumental in ensuring this funding was secured and the difference it will make is immense. Our local member has listened, acted and will deliver a project that puts the safety of local and visiting boaters at the fore,” Mr Martin said. It has been an ongoing concern that the Clyde River entrance at Batemans Bay is blocked by a sand bar, which is considered by the local Marine Rescue, sailing club and local marina manager as a threat to the safety of boats and human life. Batemans Bay Marina manager Daimon Martin said in a recent petition raised by the community for funds and a commitment to dredge "According to the NSW Maritime Infrastructure Plan (Dec 2018), $445,000 in Coastal Dredging Strategy funding has been allocated to improve the Batemans Bay entrance bar for boating access. "But it didn’t commit any funds or say when or how it was going to happen. Getting maintenance work underway shouldn’t be this hard. We are calling for dredging of the Clyde River bar to given the highest priority and for immediate action." "The plan states the importance of maintaining access in the Clyde River, Batemans Bay, which it acknowledges "is a popular recreational boating destination within easy reach from Canberra that supports significant tourism activity and provides access to the Batemans Bay Marine Park" (p32). If funding is there, and boats are now getting stuck or scraping the bar, then setting a date for dredging shouldn't be this hard." Daimon Martin said "The dredging of a channel to allow boats to enter a harbour is just as important as road and rail maintenance. In the past few months several boats have become stranded on the bar at the mouth of the Clyde River.This is because the bar hasn’t been dredged." "After the last dredging works in 2016, the community was told that the channel would be kept open at 1.3-1.5 metres at a minimum.Without any maintenance dredging, the bar has built up again, and it is now around 70 cm deep." "Four boats were retired from the Sydney to Hobart 2018 at least two with damage, but they had to be towed into Ulladulla and rafted up against trawlers as they couldn't get into Batemans Bay, where all the services they need are available at Batemans Bay Marina." "Water Police touched the bottom as they came in after their race escort and the tow jobs. They don’t even have big keels. Boats from NSW Maritime, MAC (Eden and Port Kembla), Marine Rescue, Fisheries and the Water Police are all having difficulties getting in and out of the channel to maintain and police Batemans Marine Park and safety of those at sea.And of course the town of Batemans Bay and the regional community misses out – with less business and tourism revenue from passing boats – if south coast waterways are not kept safe." "A new NSW Maritime Infrastructure Plan was released just days before the start of the Sydney to Hobart, which stated, like other reports before it, that dredging the Clyde River bar and maintaining the channel at Batemans Bay is a high priority."

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