The state government has come up with another $160,000 for emergency dredging of the Ettalong Channel.
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said work to improve the safe navigation of the waterway will commence next week.
“Safety is our number one priority,” Mr Crouch said. “The NSW Government has stepped in following reports of a vessel grounding and near misses in Ettalong Channel."
But Peninsula Chamber of Commerce President Matthew Wales says while any dollars are welcome, it's just another temporary fix.
"We need the four to five million dollar in order to put a permanent solution in an renourish Umina and Ettalong beaches at the same time," Mr Wales said.
"This emergency funding is just going to get us past the next couple of months, it's not going to solve the long-term problem."
"We'll be approaching (Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast) Scot MacDonald to make sure the working group between the Peninsula COC, Council and State government is re-established, and secondly to make sure there are state government funds available to fund the full allocation."
“I strongly encourage the newly-elected Central Coast Councillors to accept responsibility for the management of the waterway and work with the NSW Government to secure a long-term strategy to maintain safe access for the hundreds of thousands of tourists and residents that take trips through this channel each year.”
Mr Crouch has charged the new Central Coast Council with securing more money for the project.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Scot MacDonald MLC said the NSW Government is committed to delivering a sustainable dredging strategy to improve the accessibility and environmental health of waterways.
“This is the second time this year that the Government has provided emergency funding for this waterway. In June, $150,000 was spent dredging a narrow section of the channel,” Mr MacDonald said.
“This month, more sand will be removed from the channel to secure immediate ferry and boating access.”
The Department of Industry – Lands has engaged Hunter Wharf & Barge Pty Ltd to complete the emergency dredging.
Work is expected to take up to three weeks, weather-dependent.