Council to lobby for dredging
COFFS Harbour City Council will step up lobbying of the State Government to carry out more dredging of the harbour in the wake of the latest boat ramp closure.
It was closed last week after it was blocked by sand washed in by heavy seas.
Council general manager Mark Ferguson said with more than 50,000 cubic metres of sand entering the harbour every year, more dredging was needed to prevent future infilling at the boat ramp.
"The infill is supposed to be cleared regularly by dredgers funded by the State Government, however, it has not happened for five or six years and the volume of sand actually in the harbour has increased hugely in that time," he said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Lands said dredging in June 2004 had removed 23,500 cubic metres of sand from the entrance to the inner boat harbour at a cost of $481,000. The outer harbour was dredged approximately every five years.
Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said he would be happy to join forces with the council to pressure the State Government into carrying out more dredging.
"The city is losing in many ways because it is footing the bill for clearing the boat ramp, it is losing income because of tourists who don't come and the council could be left open to liability problems," he said.