Dig, scrape or no action - they are the options for the lake at Lake Cathie

Department of Fisheries and National Parks and Wildlife Service say the preferred option for the management of the lake is to scrape the sand berm (dune) at the lake entrance to 1.6m.
Department of Fisheries and National Parks and Wildlife Service say the preferred option for the management of the lake is to scrape the sand berm (dune) at the lake entrance to 1.6m.

ACTION or no action - that will be the decision Port Macquarie-Hastings councillors will make on the lake at Lake Cathie when they meet on Wednesday night (May 20).

Crown Lands, on May 11, granted Port Macquarie-Hastings Council conditional approval to open the ailing waterway at Lake Cathie.

Further consultation with the Department of Primary Industries - Fisheries (DPI) and National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), at the the request of Crown Lands, has now presented council with another option - scrape the sand berm back to 1.6m, rather than dig a channel, at the lake entrance.

This is management option is more environmentally sensitive and preferred by DPI and NPWS.

A council spokesperson said councillors will now consider three options at the May meeting - use Crown Lands' approval to open the lake by digging a channel; follow the environmental considerations of DPI and NPWS and scrape the sand berm (dune) back to 1.6m; or do nothing.

Under the short term licence, council will be permitted to enter the land for the purpose of emergency opening works, in the event of flooding only, during the next 12 months.

The lake height as of May 18 at 4.45am following some rain, reached 1.599m. The trigger point for an emergency opening is 1.6m.

The push for a short term licence led by mayor Peta Pinson in November 2019 was initially thwarted when Crown Lands came back to council and indicated its lake data was more than two decades old and required updating.

The Crown Lands approval was fast-tracked last week following a council decision on May 6 that provided the community assurances the lake and its future was a priority. Council also provided Crown Lands with updated environmental data.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council's May 20 meeting commences at 5.30pm and will be live-streamed via council's YouTube channel.

What else is making news?

While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.