Govt ups ante on dredging plan

THE State Government has matched an Opposition pledge to start maintenance dredging in the Clarence, Richmond and Evans rivers and raised – declaring it had ordered the construction of a new dredging barge which would be used on the rivers.

Lands Minister Tony Kelly said the Government had awarded a contract to build the new dredging barge to Port Macquarie company Birdon Pty Ltd.

“It’s expected to take six months to construct and deliver the $1.6 million transportable cutter suction dredge,” Mr Kelly announced in a statement.

A spokesman for the Minister said the new dredge would be used to expand the government’s existing maintenance dredging program, which covered the Tweed River entrance, Lake Illawarra, and various waterways and ‘minor ports and river entrances’.

He confirmed the expansion would mean the resumption of dredging in rivers on the Far North Coast.

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