Funding announced for Swansea Channel Dredging

  • Cruising
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 05 Feb 2014 17:00:00
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The Swansea Channel in 2009

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The announcement today by Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, and Minister for Roads and Maritime, Duncan Gay, that $2.5million has been allocated for Swansea Channel dredging is most welcome news for Lake Macquarie.

It confirms the Government’s commitment of last September that a safe and reliable passage between Lake Macquarie and the sea as an essential part of the region’s infrastructure.

Frank Downing, Chairman of the Hunter Region Committee of the NSW Boat Owners Association (BOAHR) said that today’s announcement provides a huge boost for the boating community and the LakeMacquarie economy alike.

‘It is the culmination of a three year campaign of lobbying and consultation by the BOAHR to restore and maintain the navigability of the Channel’, Mr Downing said.

‘It has been made possible by the untiring support of the Member for Swansea, Garry Edwards MP’.

The funding will allow the construction of a channel at least 60 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep from Pelican to the dropover into the Lake and a pipeline to remove dredge spoil from the estuary. It will also provide the foundation for a management program to maintain a reliable passage between the Lake and the sea in the long term.

Mr Downing said that Lake Macquarie, with its broad protected waters and steady coastal winds, provides an ideal venue for major sailing events.

‘It is a productive waterway for recreational fishing and an idyllic waterway for cruising and paddling.  It provides a safe and attractive environment for people of all ages and from all walks of life for simply messing around in boats.

‘With an area more than three times that of SydneyHarbour, it is large enough to provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy boating without the congestion prevalent in Sydney waterways’, Mr Downing said.

Plans to establish major boating events in LakeMacquarie, rivalling those elsewhere, can now go ahead with the confidence that the participants will be able to enter the Lake to take part.  Such events will boost the profile and tourist potential of LakeMacquarie. 

The BOAHR will continue work with the Government to ensure that the long-term plan is achieved.

By Frank Downing, Chairman, Hunter Region Committee, Boat Owners Association of NSW

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