COMMERCIAL INTEREST: Ballina Shire Council wants to dredge North Creek at Ballina and use the sand for fill at the Southern Cross industrial estate.
COMMERCIAL INTEREST: Ballina Shire Council wants to dredge North Creek at Ballina and use the sand for fill at the Southern Cross industrial estate. Rebecca Lollback

Anglers raise red flag over North Creek dredging proposal

THE Richmond Valley Anglers Action Group has called for further investigation into plans to dredge Ballina's North Creek, saying any dredging could be harmful to the marine life.

President of the group Lindsay Doust wrote to the council ahead of the Port Ballina Taskforce meeting on Thursday.

The taskforce will be discussing the council's response to the Expressions of Interest for the extraction of sand from North Creek.

Applications to undertake the sand extraction opened this week.

Ballina Shire Council had previously resolved to submit a response with a view to dredging the area from Missingham Bridge to just north of Prospect Bridge.

The sand would be reused or sold.

But Mr Doust, in his letter to the council, said members of the Richmond Valley Anglers Action Group and the Ballina Fishing Club were shocked to learn that dredging was being considered.

"North Creek is one of the few remaining key sensitive habitat areas to provide refuge and growth for multiple marine species, benthic organisms and, of course, juvenile finned fish," he wrote.

"Dependent on the extent and location of this proposed dredging, we have major concerns as to the sustainability and preservation of this remaining important habitat area given the already fragile state of the Richmond in general."

Members of the action group will attend the Port Ballina Taskforce meeting to raise their concerns.

The council's general manager, Paul Hickey, in a written response to Mr Doust's letter, said the council would pursue all the necessary environmental and planning approvals before any dredging took place.


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