Ballina council may profit from North Creek dredging: report
DREDGING North Creek would create a safer waterway, but it could also make extra money for Ballina Shire Council.
On Monday the council will consider allocating $50,000 towards progressing the dredging of the creek, which has been silting up for a number of years.
"It is understood that when private dredging was conducted in North Creek in the 1970s and 1980s there were significant financial benefits gained by the licence holder," the council report states.
"Discussions on this issue have identified that the use of the sand from North Creek could assist council with the filling required for our significant landholdings at the Southern Cross Industrial Estate.
"It may also improve access for recreational boats in North Creek and any surplus sand could possibly be on-sold by council."
At this stage there are differing reports on how much it might cost the council to obtain dredging approvals.
Research from BMT WBM Pty Ltd - the company which does the council's flood and coastal erosion modelling - found that approvals for dredging could cost up to $300,000.
But discussions with staff members from Great Lakes Council, which currently has a dredging program, indicate a figure of around $50,000.
Ballina council staff met recently with Rod King from Maclean-based National Dredging Services.
They discussed the possibility of directly dredging sand from North Creek to the Southern Cross Industrial Estate, avoiding the need for any transportation costs.
Mr King told the council this was feasible.
"With council having to pay at least $25 per cubic metre for the transport of fill to the Southern Cross Estate for its most recent development, it does appear that there are financial benefits in obtaining a licence to dredging for North Creek, with the Southern Cross Estate being a ready made repository for that sand," the council report states.
- Site establishment: $20,000
- Material removal from site: $20,000
- Pumping: About $7.80 per cubic metre
- Excavate deposition area: About $2.70 per cubic metre
- Bund walls for deposition area: $7500
- Transport sand: $10 per cubic metre, or extended pumping of sand for short distance: $2 to $7 per cubic metre