REPORTS BY JACQUI JONES
24 May, 2011
DREDGING of a Lake Macquarie bay connected to Swansea Channel is expected to make nautical navigation safer and halt erosion along a popular shoreline.
Lake Macquarie City Council agreed last night to partner the state government for the project at Swansea. A council report said shoaling in the navigation channel connecting Swansea Channel with Black Neds Bay was making safe passage difficult.
The NSW Crown Land division’s minor ports unit intended to dredge the area and wanted the council to use the dredged sand for beach nourishment along an eroding foreshore nearby at Mats Point, the report said.
Dredging was done about every three years. More than 5000 cubic metres of sand had been deposited in the navigation channel since it was last dredged in 2007. This previous project involved removing about 3500 cubic metres of sand, which was used for beach nourishment at Mats Point.
The council had received requests from a number of boat owners, who highlighted the need for dredging in the area, the report said. The matter has also been before Lake Macquarie aquatic services and estuary and coastal management committees.
“There are several erosion hotspots in the Mats Point area, which would benefit from sand nourishment,” the report said. The location was a popular site for walking and fishing.
The council report said dredging was a short-term solution. A preferred long-term measure to fix the problem was building a tombolo, or groyne type structure from sand, around Mats Point and Black Neds Bay. Such a proposal required considerable amounts of sand, possibly 40,000 to 50,000 cubic metres.