Tern Island affected by Bent St Navigation Channel dredging

Tern Island affected by Bent St Navigation Channel dredging

A crane unloading piping for the dredger on Wednesday.

A SAFETY Bay resident is irritated after the latest round of dredging at the Bent Street Navigation Channel in Safety Bay began on Wednesday.

Jason Lewis says he understands it is done for the safety of boat owners, but did not realise it would affect the protected Tern Island.

Mr Lewis runs West Oz Kiteboarding and Stand Up Paddle and regularly kite-boards in the area.

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He said it did not make sense, as there were signs at the boat ramp warning people not to walk on Tern Island.

“I didn’t realise they are chopping up to 50m off Tern Island to do this,” he said.

“I go down there and there are signs everywhere warning about keeping off Tern Island, but a dredger is allowed to blast its way through there? As a local person, it’s really annoyed me. It’s all pretty crap, really.”

He believed there was a better alternative. Mr Lewis also questioned the timing.

“They are doing it over summer so we will have months of a bad smell,” he said.

“Tourists will be coming down and having to put up with this.”

“I can only guess how much it will cost ratepayers.”

A statement issued by the City of Rockingham confirms Tern Island will be affected.

“The works are located within the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and the Tern Island C Class Nature Reserve,” the statement said. “It will prevent sand from the Tern Island sand bar depositing into the Bent Street navigation channel.

“A cutter suction dredge will remove approximately 25,000m3 of sand from the end of the Tern Island sand bar which will then be pumped by submerged pipes 800m east to replenish the foreshores to the east of Donald Drive Boat Ramp adjacent to Safety Bay Road.”

Mayor Barry Sammels said it was the second time the channel had been dredged, but it was necessary.

“Cost differs each time. The current works are expected to cost approximately $300,000,” he said. “Yes, the channel needs to be maintained to ensure boats have safe and easy access to the deeper waters of Warnbro Sound.

“The bypassing of the dredged sand to other foreshores assists with returning sediments to the City’s beaches in Safety Bay.”

Cr Sammels said no other alternatives were being investigated by the City.