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Lake Illawarra

In 2014, Crown Lands inherited jetties and other assets in and around Lake Illawarra from the former Lake Illawarra Authority. We have been undertaking operational management of reserves and assessing the condition of built infrastructure to set priorities for improvements. This work will keep the community safe and support recreational experiences at Lake Illawarra.

Lake Illawarra Entrance

The Lake Illawarra entrance was permanently ‘opened’ by the Lake Illawarra Authority in 2007, through the construction of southern and northern breakwalls.

The bed and banks of Lake Illawarra, particularly near Windang, have been affected by stronger tidal patterns, higher velocity flows and ongoing erosion since the lake was opened.

Windang Jetties

The Windang Jetties were installed by the former Lake Illawarra Authority, along with multiple other jetty structures.

Unlike other locations in Lake Illawarra, the energy and erosion associated with the artificial opening of the lake in 2007 are extremely high along the foreshore of Windang reserve.   

This is what undermined the piers of the jetties and contributed to their collapse in October 2022. 

Works to remove the jetty structures were completed in late 2022.

Recent report on the foreshore of Windang Reserve

In 2023 Crown Lands commissioned a technical study by the University of New South Wales Water Research Laboratory (WRL) to investigate water flows and erosion at this location. 

The report found that erosion along the Windang foreshore is occurring at the fastest rate of the entrance channel, lowering by a rate of approximately 0.35 metre every year between 2008 and 2022.

The report found that strong currents around any new jetty at the same location may pose a safety risk for in-water recreation, particularly for unpowered activities such as swimming and paddling. 

The report also investigated several engineering options to prevent further erosion and maintain the present position of the bank for the next 20 years. It concluded that while foreshore protection would prevent further landward erosion, significant deepening of the channel immediately off the foreshore will continue as long as there are strong tidal currents flowing through the channel. 

The final report has since been provided to Wollongong City Council, the Crown Land Manager for this reserve. 

Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils, with input from state government agencies, including the department, are leading the Lake Illawarra Entrance Options Study, which is considering options on how to manage foreshore erosion.

Assessment of geomorphic changes, hydraulics and potential foreshore stabilisation options at Windang, Lake Illawarra (PDF, 10.7 MB)

Program of jetty works

We consulted with the community on the jetty upgrade program over 2 stages in 2020, with feedback used to inform priority works.

The NSW Government allocated $2.2 million to fund repairs and upgrade work on Lake Illawarra jetties.

Work has been completed at the following 6 jetties:

Old Merinda Wharf

$69,475 was used for repair work on Old Merinda Wharf. Works included replacement of deteriorated structural beams, repairs to timber piles, installation of a non-slip mesh surface on the timber deck and erosion control work under the structure.

Old Merinda Wharf
Tuggerah Bay Jetty

$156,125 was used to repair and upgrade Tuggerah Bay Jetty. Works included installation of a non-slip mesh surface, replacement of structural elements as needed, such as headstocks, joists, decks and other fittings.

Tuggerah Bay jetty
Koonawarra Bay Jetty

$249,250 was used to repair and upgrade Koonawarra Bay Jetty. Works included installation of a non-slip mesh surface, replacement of structural elements as needed, such as headstocks, joists, decks and other fittings.

Koonawarra Bay Jetty
Purry Burry Jetty

$161,900 was used to repair and upgrade Purry Burry Bay Jetty. Works included installation of a non-slip mesh surface, replacement of structural elements as needed, such as headstocks, joists, decks and other fittings.

Purry Burry Jetty
Kanahooka jetties

Two public jetties at Kanahooka Boat Ramp have undergone more than $138,073 in upgrades to bring them to modern standards.

The eastern and western jetties have been upgraded with their timber decks replaced with durable non-slip mesh. The boat ramp, pedestrian path and fish cleaning facilities have been retained as part of the upgrades. 

Kanahooka boat ramp jetties
Dix’s Wharf

The $814,863 upgrade of Dix's Wharf involved a complete replacement of the timber structure including installation of a non-slip fibre-mesh walkway.

A new public access path was also constructed for better access to the boat ramp and water, and new seat benches have been installed in an adjoining parkland grassed area.

Dix's wharf, post-upgrade

King Street Jetty

The NSW Government invested $2.5 million to repair and reopen King Street jetty and boat skid ramp on Lake Illawarra at Warrawong. The work included upgrades to the market car park, fencing, and installation of security cameras at Northcliffe Drive.

The repairs and upgrade work was funded by the former Department of Planning and Environment which manages 32ha of government-owned land on the Lake Illawarra foreshore at Warrawong, inherited from the former Lake Illawarra Authority.

Lake Illawarra Jetty upgrades

We've upgraded jetties on 6 sites at Lake Illawarra, improving access and utility for visitors.

Other work around Lake Illawarra

Crown Lands has also undertaken works around Lake Illawarra to provide more green public space, protect local reserves from coastal erosion, and consulted with the community on major amenity upgrades.

$400,000 for more open space at Windang

In 2021, Crown Lands invested $400,000 to remove a block of derelict units and expand a waterfront reserve in Judbooley Reserve at Windang.

Crow Lands  engaged an Indigenous company from Nowra, ALI Civil, to remove a two-storey block of derelict units at 17 Judbooley Parade, as well as weeds and dead trees.

Landscaping was carried out in consultation with the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, including an open-space grassed area with trees and native shrubs.

Seawall protection at Windang

In 2021, $273,000 was invested in 180 metres of seawall work at Windang near Oaklands Village. This followed a previous investment of $700,000 in about 800 metres of seawall work to protect against foreshore erosion.

Works include a combination of rock protection and planting of native vegetation to protect the foreshore from further erosion. 

Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program

The Lake Illawarra Coastal Management Program 2020-2030 (CMP), prepared by Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils, sets out a long term strategy for managing Lake Illawarra and the complex issue of foreshore erosion.

Crown Lands is a member of the multi-agency Lake Illawarra Entrance Study Project Control Group, which is supporting the development of long-term management options for the Lake Illawarra entrance.

Berkeley Boat Harbour Master Plan

We have been conducting feedback on the future of Berkeley boat harbour at Lake Illawarra as we start to develop a masterplan for the site.

This was a chance for residents to have their say on what improvements they would like to see at the boat harbour to make it more user friendly and appealing.

Input from the survey will help inform a redesign of the harbour and its surrounds to provide a revitalised precinct with better functioning public spaces and facilities.

For more information about the project, view Have your say on Berkeley Boat Harbour.