Port Hacking dredging campaign finally kicks off

The hopper dredge ‘Port Frederick’, first of two dredging vessels that have been enlisted to improve the local boating channels, today started maintenance dredging campaign in the Port Hacking estuary.

Mayor Carmelo Pesce

The dredging project will involve removal of around 70,000 cubic metres of clean marine sand. This sand will be beneficially used for nourishment of currently eroded Cronulla and North Cronulla beaches through nearshore (underwater) placement at Bate Bay.

“I had the great pleasure of taking a close look at the vessel in action today with Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman whose advocacy on this project helped secure $3 million in grant funding through Transport for NSW, which will ensure boaters are better able to navigate our beautiful Port Hacking waterways, and help address sand erosion on two of our most popular beaches,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce.

Each year, more than two million people use NSW waterways, such as Port Hacking, for recreational activities such as swimming, boating, jet-skiing, fishing and more.

However, much like roads, rail and airways, marine areas also require regular management and maintenance.

Since 1998, Port Hacking navigation channels have been restored by removing between 60,000 – 110,000 cubic metres of marine sand dredged approximately every 5-years (1998, 2003, 2007, 2012). This sand has historically been relocated and placed nearshore at Cronulla Beach (Bate Bay).

According to the officials, every effort has been made to facilitate dredging works commencing in 2022. However, due to high demand for this type of dredging methodology and a limited market of suppliers, dredging works could only commence in February.

Maintenance dredging of the Port Hacking estuary, with sand nourishment of Cronulla and North Cronulla beaches is expected to be completed in June 2023.