RESIDENTS from the Tuggerah Lakes catchment are expected to attend the Central Coast Council meeting in Gosford tonight to voice their concerns about flooding and the management of The Entrance channel.
Residents believe the build-up of sand in the channel in recent years has contributed to the extent of flooding experienced in many lakeside towns.
Many are frustrated by the lack of sand dredging and maintenance carried out in the channel.
Some are calling for a breakwall to be built.
The matter came to a head at the weekend when a Central Coast man allegedly used an excavator to help locals armed with shovels to dig a 'floodway' to enable the floodwaters to escape the lakes faster.
It's believed the man could face a fine. But on social media some locals were calling the man a hero and celebrating his actions.
Overnight, Central Coast Council dug a 30-metre wide opening from the channel to the sea.
The new channel opening is on the northern side of the existing channel.
Lakeside residents have told the Lakes Mail the affect was soon evident, with floodwaters in many suburbs falling noticeably by this morning.
The Lakes Mail toured the seaside town this afternoon, and spoke with residents who, on the one hand, were celebrating the council's intervention, but on the other were calling for a permanent fix.
"People are going to the council meeting tonight to tell them we want a breakwall, and we want it now," one local told The Lakes Mail.
At tonight's council meeting, councillors Bruce McLachlan, Greg Best and Jilly Pilon have given notice that they will raise a motion which urges council to acknowledge "the ongoing resident dissatisfaction of the deteriorating condition of Tuggerah Lakes system and The Entrance channel, and the public outcry for a permanent solution".
The motion proposes that council lobby the state government for change, and that it allocate "sufficient funds in the 2020 budget to commence preliminary breakwall designs", with a view to submitting a proposal to the government.
The motion also calls on the council to allocate funding to start a major 2020 channel dredging program, and that consideration be given to using the dredged sand to create a "super bank surf break", similar to that in Greenmount/Kirra, Queensland.
Meanwhile, the state government made a natural disaster declaration for the Central Coast today.
The declaration means that residents who have been affected by the recent flood can get assistance and support to recover. Funding will also be made available to the council to repair infrastructure.
Mayor Lisa Matthews said she would still like to see the Premier visit the region and see first-hand the impact the disaster has had on the Central Coast community.
"It is fantastic to see the state government step in and give council and the community the support we need to recover and I look forward to welcoming the Premier to our region," Cr Matthews said.
"I want to show the Premier the impact of the recent event and ask for her support to find a long-term solution to the maintenance and viability of our waterways.
"This is not the time for political point scoring and finger pointing.
"We must pull together. All levels of government must work hand in hand with our community in the recovery and the long-term future of the Central Coast."