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Council to seek funding to dredge port

News Article Date: 
Monday, 14 September 2020

Warrnambool City Council will seek funding to dredge the Port of Warrnambool to create a safer environment for boat users.

At its September meeting Council endorsed a proposal to develop a plan to dredge Lady Bay and dispose of the dredging spoil near the shore several hundred metres to the east of the Port of Warrnambool.

“We’re pleased to commit to a 10-year plan that will result in the boat launching area being dredged,” Mayor Cr Tony Herbert said.

“It has been several years since the bay was dredged and boat users and the Port of Warrnambool Reference Group have advised us that an ongoing dredging program is needed.

“There was a considerable amount of discussion as to the best way to dispose of the dredged sand or spoil, and after taking on board the latest scientific advice and weighing of the estimated costs, Council has opted to pursue funding  for a near-shore disposal of dredging spoil.

“The plan includes ongoing dredging to resolve the challenge of the dredged ‘pocket’ refilling with sand, which is inevitable in such a dynamic marine environment.

“The near-shore disposal is a cost-effective solution that has been employed successfully elsewhere including on the Gold Coast and we think it is a pragmatic option.”

This option is considered the most realistic chance of securing key Victorian Government funding for a
proposed 10-year dredging program.

Identified as ‘Option 4’ in a community engagement feedback survey held in January, the near-shore
disposal of the dredged material would create an artificial sand reef.

According to engineering consultants engaged by Council, Water Technology, the sand reef would ‘remain in place for a period
of time before coastal action placed some material on the beach, while a portion would be dispersed off-
shore’ in a process which mimics natural coastal behaviour.”

The Port of Warrnambool is owned by the Victorian Government and managed by Council.

Council appointed Water Technology to undertake a background study and site investigation, to produce a new long-term dredging management plan and obtain the relevant permits for configuration dredging, including preparation of tender documentation and attain the relevant permits for a new Harbour dredging management plan.

“We can now pursue funding opportunities through the Victorian Governent and be in the best possible position to undertake dredging, ideally next year,” Cr Herbert said.

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