Confirmation of an election promise by the NSW Nationals of $1.5 million in funding to support urgent dredging projects across NSW has come as welcome news.
A portion of the funding has been earmarked for maintenance dredging works in Lake Cathie which would seek to maintain navigation and tidal flows.
While the funding is welcomed Mr Porter reminded residents that any maintenance dredging in the lower entrance of Lake Cathie would reflect the adopted Estuary Management Plan.
“Lake Cathie is certainly one of the estuaries that are an iconic natural feature of the area and vital for supporting a range of social, economic and environmental objectives.
“The Estuary Management Plan is prepared in consultation with the community and relevant agencies and is an adopted policy of Council that guides the decision making in reference to any dredging of Lake Cathie,” said Mr Porter.
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams confirmed the need for the dredging. “Lake Cathie is a unique playground for our local area and to continually have it silted up not only reduces water flow, but it also makes it unattractive as a recreation area.
“I am pleased to confirm that funding has been allocated for this project along with others in the electorate. Our share of the $1.5 million will be released when the State Budget is announced in September,” Mrs Williams said.
Not everyone was completely satisfied with the funding announcement. Lake Cathie Progress Association spokesperson Jack Jones expressed disappointment that the dredging is likely to take place east of the Ocean Drive bridge. “Our main area of concern is the area west of the bridge where the estuary has really silted up.”
Council has also confirmed that the timing of any maintenance dredging would be linked to the outcomes of the Lake Cathie Coastal Zone Management Plan that is currently being developed.
“Integrating dredging of the Lake with the Zone Management Plan is critical for ensuring that any sand dredged is used to support requirements of any erosion management actions that may be agreed,” said Mr Porter.