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Maintaining Navigational Access in Swansea Channel

Swansea Channel is the marine gateway to Lake Macquarie. Lake Macquarie is an outstanding recreational waterway used by local and regional boating enthusiasts.

Recreational boating is a popular activity on Lake Macquarie, attracting local residents and people from the broader Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney regions. Currently over 18,000 boats use Lake Macquarie and this number is expected to increase to over 25,000 by the year 2020.

Maintaining reliable boating access to the Lake is considered desirable for social and economic reasons. The NSW Government commitment towards dredging of Swansea Channel to achieve reliable navigability also requires ongoing support from local government and key stakeholders.

The report, Towards a Sustainable Framework for Navigation in Swansea Channel favours a 2 stage approach for maintaining reliable navigation in Swansea Channel. This includes an initial large scale “once-off” dredging campaign with a program of regular follow up dredging and with responsibility shared by NSW and local government and key stakeholders to maintain a stable channel into the future.

View or download the report:

Towards a Towards a Sustainable Framework for Navigation in Swansea Channel (PDF2.6 MB)

Appendix 1: Consultation Responses (PDF 45 kb)

Appendix 2: Zoning (PDF 18 kb)

Appendix 3: Economic Analysis Update (PDF 456 kb)

Appendix 4: Governance Funding Models (PDF 34 kb)

Large Scale Dredging Campaign in Swansea Channel

Large-scale dredging of the Swansea Channel was completed in February 2015, with up to 80,000 cubic metres of sand dredged from the channel and placed on Blacksmiths Beach. The dredging was successful, providing clear navigable depth and width for safe navigation.

Dredged sand was used to nourish Blacksmith Beach and to reinstate the frontal dunes. Beach stabilisation works, including installation of fencing and planting of native vegetation was completed mid-2015 and was undertaken with the assistance of the Bahtabah Local Aboriginal Land Council whom supplied local indigenous workers and materials. View or download relevant information for the project:

Swansea Channel Dredging – Construction and Environmental Management

Maintenance Dredging in Swansea Channel

Swansea Channel is highly dynamic and subject to constant sand infilling. Hence it is highly likely that ongoing maintenance dredging will be required to provide safe navigation for boaters.

Minor dredging was undertaken in December 2015 and in January 2016 to reduce problem shoaling in Swansea Channel between the southern entrance to Swan Bay and Elizabeth Island. This work was arranged to ensure boating access in Swansea Channel is available for most vessels over the busy summer boating period. View or download relevant information for the project:

Swansea Channel Minor Maintenance Dredging

Sediment Tracing Study in Swansea Channel

The Sediment Tracing Study (commenced late 2015) involves monitoring and reporting on the placement, release and tracing of a large quantity of different coloured sand-sized particles at strategic locations over a period of around six months. It is envisaged that the Study will improve the understanding of the physical sand movement and shoaling within the system. View or download relevant information for the project:

Swansea Channel Sediment Tracing Study

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