State government commits $200,000 for expert panel to determine how best to improve Tuggerah Lakes water quality

UNDER PRESSURE: The Entrance channel feeds the Tuggerah Lakes system. The state government has committed to spending $200,000 to investigate a clean-up plan.

UNDER PRESSURE: The Entrance channel feeds the Tuggerah Lakes system. The state government has committed to spending $200,000 to investigate a clean-up plan.

THE state government has committed to spending $200,000 to establish an expert committee to determine the best way to improve water quality in Tuggerah Lakes.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton and Liberal Candidate for The Entrance Brian Perrem announced the initiative on Tuesday.

Ms Upton said the NSW Liberals and Nationals government would provide the money if it was re-elected at the March poll.

“We know that the water quality around the edge of the lake is exacerbated by issues like poor quality stormwater flowing into the lakes that carry everything from dog waste to garden fertilisers,” Ms Upton said.

“However, this also means we have a real opportunity to consider real ways to improve water quality in the lakes.

“This new initiative is about bringing the experts to the table, working across government agencies, with the council and the community, and looking at what has been done in the past, what the science says should be done in the future, and what action the community wants taken."

Ms Upton said the Office of Environment and Heritage will work with Central Coast Council to develop a Coastal Management Plan for the lakes.

Mr Perrem said more than $80 million had been spent on Tuggerah Lakes over the last 20 years, but more was needed.

“It is clear the work that’s been done hasn’t met the community’s expectations. This is a fantastic opportunity to establish this committee and ensure we find the best solution," he said.

Central Coast mayor Jane Smith. Picture: Supplied

Central Coast mayor Jane Smith. Picture: Supplied

Mayor Jane Smith welcomed the commitment.

"Our community love and really value our natural assets on the Coast and I certainly welcome any investment in Tuggerah Lakes," she said.

"I am interested in the detail of what the committee will do and how it will work with council’s own Tuggerah Lakes Committee in implementing the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary Management Plan, adopted by council and endorsed by the NSW Government."

Cr Smith told the Lakes Mail all three levels of government had a stake in the health of Tuggerah Lakes.

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