Bermagui and Batemans Bay to benefit from long-term dredging plan


Bermagui and Batemans Bay will be two of the first areas in NSW to benefit from the Government’s long-term dredging plan to protect access at key coastal locations, river entrances and local waterways.

Transport Minister Jo Haylen directed NSW Maritime to develop the long-term plan after emergency dredging was required at Ettalong and Swansea Channel to guarantee the safe passage of boats.

It follows a decade of neglect and poor planning when it came to dredging across NSW under the previous government.

Transport for NSW Maritime has developed a long-term state-wide dredging program to improve efficiency, reduce costs and enable more consistent and frequent dredging to be undertaken in the future.

Maritime is now developing a 10-year Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for nine priority areas. They include:

  • Bermagui River, Bermagui
  • Clyde River, Batemans Bay
  • Ettalong Channel, Brisbane Waters
  • Swansea Channel, Lake Macquarie
  • Hastings River, Port Macquarie
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Clarence River, Yamba
  • Evans River, Evans Head
  • Tweed River, Tweed Heads

These environmental investigations will give the team greater scope to dredge more regularly, across various dredging locations, and will explore new sand placement options.

The reviews will take between 12-24 months to complete.

Transport for NSW encourages the communities in Bermagui and Batemans Bay to provide their feedback on the REF when it is display for public comment later this year.

Quotes attributable to Transport Minister Jo Haylen MP:

“We know that keeping Bermagui Harbour open and accessible is a priority for the community.

“Our long-term dredging plan recognises dredging of a channel is vital in keeping the harbour safe and accessible for boaters up and down the coast. Regular dredging will ensure we keep sand build-ups under control.

“The benefit of a 10-year Review of Environmental Factors is that it gives us the flexibility to dredge when needed over the coming decade; we won’t need to wait for environmental approvals because they’ll already be in place.

“Long-term planning and approval will improve efficiency, reduce costs and give the community confidence that we will undertake consistent and frequent dredging over the next ten years.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bega, Michael Holland MP:

“This is vital forward planning to secure access to our rivers.

“While Bermagui and Batemans don’t need to be dredged right now, it’s highly likely sand movements will mean it could be an issue in the coming years.

“By getting this long-term plan done now, it’ll be easier for us to begin dredging as soon as the need arises.”

/Public Release. View in full here.