Navigating north coast waterways will be easier from next year with plans to dredge three key areas.
The NSW government has announced more than $3,000 000 of coastal infrastructure works and dredging at Yamba, Iluka and Evans Head.
Gary Anderson from the Clarence River Fish Co-op said the fishing industry has been restricted by siltation problems which plague all three rivers.
The co-op has around 22 ocean vessels which use the river but some big trawlers can only get through the bar at certain times.
“At the moment if there’s a big tuna boat that’s got a 3 metre draught, we can’t accept them into our Iluka boat harbour because we just haven’t got enough depth there,” Mr Anderson said.
The north coast fishing industry is welcoming the news.
Mr Anderson said the dredging will make waterways safer and help the industry to stabilise after a tough couple of years.
“From a fishing point of view you could not get enough dredging up and down the east coast of NSW, all estuaries are choking up at the moment from siltation and when it comes to dredging it’s very very expensive so it’s a great news headline for the Clarence for sure,” Mr Anderson said.
It’s also seen as a positive for all boats which use the river.
“With dredging it’s just not only the fishing industry that will benefit from the dredging it’s also sailing boats so in general navigation of the Clarence will become a little more accessible,” Mr Anderson said.
The Tweed River is also to benefit from the government’s dredging hand-out. It will get $600,000 for works between the Terranora Inlet and Tumbulgum.