State government announces $2.5m for Swansea Channel dredging campaign

A MULTI-MILLION dollar plan has been floated to maintain Lake Macquarie's marine gateway.

The state government last week announced a one-off $2.5-million dredging campaign to stabilise navigation through the Swansea Channel.

The funding is additional to $360,000 provided in December for early summer dredging works.

Swansea Channel is used by 18,000 boats each year, which is expected to increase to 25,000 by 2020.

The new campaign is predicted to boost Lake Macquarie's economy by about $3.7 million per year.

The works were a key recommendation in NSW Trade & Investment Crown Lands' 2013 report Towards a Sustainable Framework for Navigation in Swansea Channel.

It favoured a channel width of 60 metres and a depth of 3.5 metres.

The report also highlighted the dredged sand could be used to create a "superbank" at Blacksmiths Beach. About 20,000 cubic metres of sand will be removed from the channel.

Lake Macquarie Yacht Club general manager Alan Patterson said the campaign was great news for local boat owners.

"For many years people have avoided coming into Lake Macquarie because of the silted-up entrance," he said.

"Boat owners can now have a safe egress from the lake."

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