Yamba dredging under way to improve access

Dredging activities have commenced on the main shipping channel of the Clarence River in the Port of Yamba. The dredging began last week and will be undertaken over a three to four week period.

“The dredging supports the ongoing viability of the Port of Yamba as a regional port servicing the Northern Rivers district,” said Shayne Wilde, NSW Maritime's Shipping & Pollution Response Manager.

“The Port of Yamba is Australia's easternmost sea port and serves the Northern Rivers district including the towns of Grafton, Maclean, Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Coffs Harbour. It is also the home port of the State's second largest fishing fleet and handles a range of imports and exports.”

Mr Wilde said this was the first dredging carried out for the port since 2002, when the approach channel was dredged. “The aim of the new work is to restore the channel to a depth permitting safe navigation and movement of shipping to and from the Port of Yamba (Goodwood Island Wharf) located five miles upstream. Two areas, locally known as Goodwood Reach and the Main Wall, are to be dredged to allow a continuous navigable depth of 4.2 metres.”

NSW Maritime has contracted McQuade Marine of Mudgeeraba, Qld to undertake the dredging operations with the trailing suction hopper dredge Port Frederick, at a total cost of up to $522,200.

Mr Wilde said the work is being done under permits issued by the relevant State Government agencies and the Commonwealth Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Prior to the work starting, NSW Maritime completed a Review of Environmental Factors (REF), and also conducted a hydrographic survey of the channel to determine the exact areas that require dredging. Following the work a further survey will take place to ensure it has been completed.

“NSW Maritime and the dredge operator are taking all necessary care to ensure the dredging operations and associated disposal of dredge spoil (sand) do not impact on local fisheries or protected marine mammals,” Mr Wilde said. “This includes observations before and during spoil dumping off Iluka and during the dredging operations.”

Recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators are reminded to stay clear of the dredge and pass at a slow speed during operations.

For further information, contact the Port of Yamba office on (02) 6651 3400. There is also provision for 24-hour community contact: (02) 9563 8540; Email: yambapilot@maritime.nsw.gov.au.

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