State government offers local councils a share in $1.5 million for sand dredging in the Rescuing Our Waterways program | photos

LAKE Macquarie and Central Coast councils have been invited to apply for a share of $1.5 million in state government funding for essential dredging projects.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and the Hunter, Scot MacDonald, said the new funding on offer would allow coastal councils to apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of dredging operations and pre-dredging studies for their local waterways.

“This is the latest round of the NSW Government’s Rescuing Our Waterways program offering $6 million over four years to help councils with dredging costs,” Mr MacDonald said.

“It’s an opportunity for councils to partner with the state government to deliver better access to waterways for recreational and commercial users and safer boating.

“Coastal councils are required to make a financial contribution of at least 50 per cent of project costs and be responsible for developing and managing their projects.”

A new sand dredging project in The Entrance channel started this week.

It has been made possible by a previous round of funding in the Rescuing Our Waterways program.

The state government and Central Coast Council have each contributed $225,000 for that work which will remove 60,000 cubic metres of sand from the opening to Tuggerah Lakes.

Minister for Lands and Forestry, Paul Toole, said Rescuing Our Waterways provided benefits to local boating communities and regional economies.

“Communities right along the coast have benefitted from Rescuing Our Waterways funding with the government providing almost $5 million since 2012,” Mr Toole said.

“This funding has allowed 14 coastal councils to complete or begin vital navigational dredging related work in their areas.”

Applications for the Rescuing Our Waterways program are now open and close on Friday, June 8.

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