Wyong Shire Council has denied recent claims that widening the mouth of The Entrance Channel will assist with flood relief, confirming its commitment to keep the channel open to the ocean through its dredging program.
According to Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Operations, Mr Greg McDonald, the width of the mouth of the channel has little impact on the levels of flooding around the lake as the water level is primarily determined by tide levels.
“Council has ensured the Tuggerah Lakes have remained open to the ocean via The Entrance Channel since the 1990’s,” said Mr McDonald. “The mouth of the channel acts as a dampener to the tidal influence – a wider opening will allow the high tide levels in the lake to be higher and the low tide levels to be lower exposing mud flats in low tide and endangering the delicate marine ecosystem close to the shore.”
Previous experience has shown that any widening of the channel mouth is usually quickly replaced by sand due to natural oceanic activity.
“Council’s ongoing dredging provides increased water flow through the channel despite the limitations created by the natural shallow rock bar,” said Mr McDonald. “We are aware of residents’ concerns with localized lake flooding but widening of The Entrance Channel will not resolve this problem.”
In the current financial year, expenditure on works associated with the management of the lakes and other environmental works ranks in the top five expenditure areas of the council. It is anticipated to increase even more in the 2016/17 financial year.