Batemans Bay boaters will have to wait until at least November for the dredging of the notorious Batemans Bay sandbar after the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) terminated the contract with the tenderer.
Dredging Systems was awarded the tender to dredge the bar earlier this year, however a DPI spokesman said the contractor had failed to start work.
“The Department understands the disappointment of local boat owners in seeing the commencement of these works delayed and will be arranging to call fresh tenders for the work as soon as practicable,” the spokesman said.
“Roads and Maritime Services is currently resurveying the bar to establish what changes have occurred in the last six months or so.
“This will be a valuable aid to confirming the extent of work that needs to be undertaken.”
Boaters have been calling for the sandbar to be dredged since at least 2010.
Late last year, the State Government finally announced it would provide funding to dredge the bar and work was expected to start in February.
However, the project was held up in March when Long Beach residents raised concerns about the project with the Environmental Defender’s Office.
Their concerns were addressed, and it was announced in May that the successful tenderer had formally accepted the DPI’s contract to dredge 10,000 cubic meters of sand, costing $400,000.
It was then believed that dredging would start in mid-June.
Yesterday’s announcement is another blow for local boat users.
The DPI spokesman said boaters should continue to monitor local conditions and follow the advice of Marine Rescue and Roads and Maritime Services.
Subject to an acceptable response to the re-tender process, the dredging work is now expected to commence by November 2012.