Report to Basin Villages Forum February 17, 2014, from members of Shoalhaven City Council
Chris Grounds, David Reynolds, Rebecca Rudd

There have been two meetings of Council’s NRFMC since the November Forum meeting.
There was a December 2, 2013 meeting of the Central Shoalhaven Committee following meetings on May 2 2013 and August 12 2013.
There has also been a further
workshop / meeting of all three committees – Northern, Central and Southern on Monday February 10 2014. The main outcome of this meeting was a decision to hold an annual joint strategic meeting of all three committees. The meeting also heard that a Council survey showed that the clear majority of committee members were satisfied with the current operation of the Committees.

Meeting DEC. 2 2013
The Minutes of the August 2013 Meeting had two items of interest to the Forum:
Item 8
: Members being surveyed regarding amalgamation of the northern, central and southern committees.
Item 11: “Sussex Inlet Navigation Channel Dredging”. Carried that Council proceed with the citywide dredging feasibility study and the study consider commercial sand dredging operations.
Note: written advice from council in response to a SGBEMP submission to Chris Grounds from Ray Massey indicated that this involves a concept of privately operated sand mining of the SGB entrance at Sussex Inlet, which would remove sand and the dredging of sediments which would be displaced at the entrance area. Community engagement on this matter had been confined to Sussex Inlet.

December Meeting Agenda Items of interest were:
Item 4: Council’s Floodplain Management program covered a number of Shoalhaven locations such as Lake Wollumboola, Birrell Lake and Tabourie Lake but no areas associated with SGB. However, Grants from OEH of $3.52 million did not include any of the Shoalhaven projects.

Item 5: Citywide Dredging Feasibility Study [CDFS]
. A Report is to be provided in March 2014.
The Recommended ‘Options’ for this item noted the need for Committee input on dredging considerations for the SGB /Sussex Inlet –Sanctuary Point boat ramp.
A consultants brief was developed regarding a study of the CDFS, which is to include:
“St Georges Basin/Sussex Inlet – maintenance dredging for navigation (and more specifically Marine rescue Operations).
The formal consultation process is to include ONE member for the SGB/Sussex Inlet – Sanctuary Point Boat Ramp/Swan Lake interests.

Meeting Discussions and General Business:

Chris Grounds noted in the meeting that “Community Engagement” indicators in the meeting reports did not meet the standard of practice required by the Council’s own Community Engagement Policy.
Rebecca Rudd raised the issue of misuse of Basin foreshore and was assured Council acts on these matters as reported.
Chris notes: Some subsequent informal surveying of the Sanctuary Point Crown Land Reserve Foreshore, much of which is Endangered Ecological Community, indicates that this is not so with numerous examples of boat storage, groyne intrusion, foreshore mowing, tree debris clearing with fire potential and minor structures.