Shellharbour Mayor welcomes Lake Illawarra dredging study funding

Shellharbour City Mayor and former Lake Illawarra Estuary Committee Chair, Cr Marianne Saliba, has welcomed a $15,000 contribution towards funding a Lake Illawarra dredging study to improve boating access.

The money is from the Rescuing our Waterways program, with Shellharbour City Council providing matching funding to allow for $30,000 in work.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said dredging had been a topical issue for some members of the community who were concerned about the condition of the lake.

“From what local residents have told me, their concerns range from water quality associated with flooding issues and stormwater drainage, to recreational use and tourism opportunities on the lake,” Cr Saliba said.

“As such, dredging is something the community has a strong interest in.”

“This NSW Government funding is a good start on the Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program that is expected to cost Shellharbour City Council and Wollongong City Council $37 million over 10 years,” she said.

Shellharbour City Council and Wollongong City Council jointly prepared a draft Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program last year and asked for community input. The draft plan has been out on exhibition.

The draft program outlines the strategic direction and specific actions that can be implemented over the next 10 years to address threats to the environmental health of the Lake Illawarra and protect and enhance its values.

Cr Saliba said the program was a vital tool for ensuring the best possible outcomes for the future of Lake Illawarra.

“The management plan takes into account scientific evidence and input from all stakeholders. This strategic document is a blueprint on how to move forward and I thank the community for providing their input,” she said.

The draft document was developed in accordance with the NSW Coastal Management Act 2016 and the Coastal Management Manual 2018 and the process was overseen by the Lake Illawarra Estuary Management Committee.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (formerly the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) supported the production of the draft.

The draft program comprises of 9 management strategies and 39 actions. The strategies include improve water quality, manage foreshore and bank, manage the entrance channel and to protect and promote cultural heritage.

The draft Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program is yet to be endorsed by both councils.

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