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Bay bar dredging delayed to after busy holiday period

Batemans Bay Boaters Association have advised that the Batemans Bay bar dredging has been delayed to after the busy holiday period.

On the 29 September 2019 the Association wrote a FB post to inform local boaters and others about the dredging of the Batemans Bay Bar during the period 7 October to 20 November. They said the dredging was as a result of a petition the local marina initiated to try to increase the “safety” of those crossing the bar during the summer months as vessels traverse the east coast of NSW – not to mention the increase in income as a result of this access. Harry Watson Smith of the Association said "The petition received 461 responses so the Local Member responded and with the usual rent a crowed announced the investment in this “important project”.

"The facts around the reason and the unintended consequences of this particular operation depositing the dredging spoils in the middle of the Bay were ignored and only vested interests listened too.

"On the 8 November the Association again raised the question of why dredge the bar now (See More Dangers within the Bay."

"Again the Association raised concerns but highlighted the consequences and stated: The dredging should be delayed until the GHD modelling and investigation is complete. (This consultancy is funded by Transport for NSW). "The Association has for a long time held that introducing the sand back into the bay will have dangerous unintended consequences that could cause water inundation of the locals properties and even the CBD.

"We appealed to the local Minister to stop the dredging during this busy holiday period.

"So what went wrong? The Marine Notice S01948 threatened fines of up to $5,500 if any vessel violated the safety parameters of the area and gave a guide to safely navigate the area. But who reads these non-legal notices? Well this particular notice has disappeared, gone, removed. Why?"

"So is the dredging going ahead?" asks Mr Watson Smith.

"Clearly the SandPiper Dredging didn't get the message to not come back and fix the mess they created last time in 2016 for a cool $355,955 because their dredge arrived in the bay during the first week of December- well after the Marine Notice said they would have completed the operation."

"Now the BB Boaters Association have again raised the alarm highlighting the potential dangers of unlit floating dredging pipes across the Bay and the dredge positioned on the Clyde River entrance as unfamiliar holiday boats set out to sea not knowing which side of the dredge to pass."

"This is in conjunction with the unsafe and potential fire hazards within the Batemans Bay Marina. And of course the electrical dangers."

"We appealed to the Minister in charge of Maritime and yes thankfully he saw the sense of this appeal and has just recently had the dredging delayed until after the holiday period. "What of the Marina? That discussion will be delayed until 2020 but the Department of Lands visited locally and have taken steps to force the issue. More on that later."

"How did we know? You may well ask? Not from the official Notice to Mariners, RMS Marine Notice, Maritime or even from the Minister’s office but from good old fashioned investigative walk-the-walk and talk to the locals."

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