Shoalhaven City Council has been granted a licence from Crown Lands to mechanically open the entrance to Lake Conjola at lower trigger requirements than previously existed in periods of emergency.
Council Director City Development Phil Costello announced the licence's granting at the ordinary meeting on October 26, staying it "would assist council in mechanically opening the entrance when severe weather impacts on the Lake Conjola community".
"After consultation with the community, council applied for revised trigger levels for the Lake Conjola Crown Land Licence enabling council staff to seek state government approvals to open the entrance, when it is required to be opened mechanically," Mr Costello said.
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"Council had previously prepared a Review of Environmental Factors environmental assessment and submitted a licence application to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands.
"This new application has led to the issue of the subject licence and has been issued for a five-year period.
"This is great news for council and the community who have advocated for trigger levels to be lowered for many years."
Lake Conjola is currently open to the sea and has been since February 2020, however, the entrance was impacted by significant sand build-up due to the recent East Coast Low weather event.
Council has undertaken extensive community consultation in relation to the Lake Conjola Coastal Management Program which is currently in the process of being formulated.
The issue of lake entrance management is a consideration in the formulation of this program.
The program is also collecting scientific information to inform the forecasting of requirements and to alter the licence in the future, if required.