Recent campaigning to address concerns with the entrance to the Clyde River at Batemans Bay has lead to action, with the NSW Government announcing $450,000 to dredge the bar in the coming months.
Member for Bega, Andrew Constance says the funds will go a long way in assisting with the safe passage of vessels.
“The concerns raised by local boaters were heard and I advocated for this funding to ensure the safety of vessels and operators coming into our beautiful part of the world,” he says.
“As part of the works, Council has been consulted in helping to identify nearby foreshore areas which may benefit from sand replenishment.
“I have also asked that the entrance to the Tomaga River be looked at during the investigation phase of these works.”
A recent petition championed by the management of the Batemans Bay Marina brought the reoccurring issue back into focus.
“In the past few months, several boats have become stranded on the bar at the mouth of the Clyde River,” the petition reads.
“This is because the bar hasn’t been dredged.
“After the last dredging works in 2016, the community was told that the channel would be kept open at 1.3-1.5 metres at a minimum.
“Without any maintenance dredging, the bar has built up again, and it is now around 70 cm deep.”
Daimon Martin, Batemans Bay Marina, General Manager claims that four 2018 Sydney to Hobart yachts had to be towed to Ulladulla because they couldn’t cross the bar and retire in Batemans Bay.
“Water Police touched the bottom as they came in after their race escort and the tow jobs. They don’t even have big keels,” he says.
“Boats from NSW Maritime, Marine Rescue, Fisheries, and the Water Police are all having difficulties getting in and out of the channel.”
Mr Martin has welcomed the funding announcement for the dredging.
“Our thanks and appreciation goes to Andrew, who has been instrumental in ensuring this funding was secured and the difference it will make is immense.
“Our local member has listened, acted and will deliver a project that puts the safety of local and visiting boaters at the fore,” Mr Martin says.
Mr Constance says the process to dredge the bar will start with a hydrographic survey which will hopefully be completed in this month, those results will determine the scope of the dredging, with works to follow.