SAND dredged from near the Warrnambool boat ramp needed to be removed from the Lady Bay foreshore quickly or it would end up back at the boat ramp, Warrnambool fisherman Walter “Barry” Hose says.
Mr Hose, who was a professional fisherman for nearly 20 years, said spoil left on the foreshore from previous dredging operations had ended up back in Lady Bay and had been a “terrible waste of money”.
He feared more money would be wasted if the council’s negotiations with the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Moyne Shire Council about taking the spoil to Port Fairy’s East Beach did not reach a speedy outcome.
Mr Hose said Lady Bay had “a swirling pattern of water” that dumped sand near the boat ramp.
About a third of the bay floor was sedimentary sand and expecting that dredging between 6000-8000 cubic metres of sand would have a long-term effect was “ridiculous”, he said.
“The only thing that will fix this habour is to use a big bucket dredge that they used to use in Port Phillip Bay.
“They have got to keep dredging and they have to take the spoil away.”
Mr Hose said pumping the sand into Stingray Bay should be avoided.
A previous dredging operation had done that and “ruined” the area.
Mr Hose said there was no doubt the area near the Warrnambool boat ramp needed dredging because it was not possible to launch boats more than five metres in length there at low tide.
“Eighteen months ago, there was two metres of water at the bottom of the boat ramp,” Mr Hose said.
“Now there is nothing there at low tide.”
The Moyne Shire Council’s dredge is being used for the project, which is expected to take between four to six weeks.
Dredging will cost $140,000 and is being fully funded by the Department of Transport.
The port was previously dredged in 2009 when 45,000 cubic metres of sand was removed.