Marine Rescue Ballina has welcomed the NSW Nationals’ plans to investigate dredging of the Richmond River bar.
Marine Rescue Ballina has welcomed the NSW Nationals’ plans to investigate dredging of the Richmond River bar.

Nationals dredging up some votes

THE NSW Nationals say sand dredging of local rivers will re-commence if they are elected.

Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell said the NSW Liberals and National’s Waterways Policy will see proper maintenance dredging of rivers along the East Coast, including the Clarence, Evans and Richmond Rivers.

“If maintained properly, these rivers have huge potential for increased trade, fishing and tourism,” Mr Cansdell said.

“Dredging is the single most effective activity that could be undertaken to turn around the economy of our region.”

The dredging call was welcomed by Marine Rescue Ballina commander, Norm Lannoy.

“We have an outer bar that has been building up for the past two years,” Mr Lannoy said. “Dredging would increase safety across this bar.

“It’s one of the worst along the East Coast.

“When the sand builds up it causes pressure waves.”

Greens MLC, Ian Cohen, said that while the Greens were not completely opposed to sand dredging, a scientific approach needed to be applied.

“Dredging is not a one-size fits all solution to deal with a very complex ecological and land use issues,” he said.

“Yes, in some cases there are very legitimate public safety issues but there needs to be thorough scientific assessments done on the ecological impact before anything is discussed.”

“This announcement is a simplistic, old fashioned reaction.”



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