There will be smooth sailing at Cullen Bay following an $8 million Territory Budget allocation to dredge the entry channel.
According to Chief Minister Adam Giles, the works will improve access and safety at low tide. He said that dredging was last undertaken in 2008.
“The works are required to remove navigation hazards caused by silt building up,” Giles said. “The silt has caused the entrance channel to become extremely narrow, especially at lower tides.”
“Dredging will enable easier access to the pontoon and lock without worrying about tides and water depth. Cullen Bay is an essential transport hub with ferry services to Mandorah and Tiwi Islands,” Giles added.
General Manager of the Cullen Bay Marina Management Corporation, Robbie Standaloff, welcomed the announcement.
“Cullen Bay is an important and busy section of the Territory waterways,” he said. “In excess of 5000 vessels enter the marina throughout the year and this is the only public fuel facility in the Top End.
“This facility is a clearance point for Customs and is the first port of call for boats entering Australia, clearing up to 80 boats a year. The dredging will ensure that vessels up to a 2.5m draft will be able to access the facility at all tides,” Standaloff added.
Dredging works are scheduled for April 2017.