Ettalong channel decision long overdue, says Tesch
The decision of the State Government to take responsibility for the Ettalong Channel is long overdue, according to Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.
"While this is a huge win for the community, I am extremely disappointed in the Liberal Government's slow decision-making process when it comes to our vital and pristine waterway."
After years of campaigning, the Ettalong Channel has been declared a "key investment location" by the State Government meaning dredging the area will become a responsibility of the NSW Government, she said.
"This means the long-standing controversy concerning who should foot the bill for the dredging has been settled - determined to be no longer the responsibility of Central Coast Council.
"The dredging disasters in 2017 had devastating effects on our community by severely cutting our tourism in Ettalong and consequently causing financial stress for so many local businesses."
"Our ferry commuters were also left stranded with hundreds who usually travel to work and to school unable to do so."
Central Coast Council was forced to close the channel in 2018 and in 2019 as they struggled to finance the dredging due to the NSW Liberal Government only offering half the cost.
The NSW Liberal Government's reneging of responsibility and inaction during that period Ms Tesch said was still being felt today.
"After 10 years at the helm, the NSW Liberal Government has finally recognised it has left our community behind with its complete lack of responsibility on dredging."
"Our Council is still reeling from their failed forced amalgamation by this Government.
"While this is a positive step for our community, there's a lot more work that needs to be done by this Liberal Government to repair the cost-shifting harm they've imposed on Central Coast Council which our community will now have to pay for."
Media release, 1 Apr 2021
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford