Full steam ahead for Lake Illawarra projects

The Lake Illawarra Authority is pushing ahead with planned construction works, despite the body's impending closure.

The soon-to-be-abolished authority had several projects in the pipeline when the state government announced plans to replace it with an estuary management committee last month.

Despite intentions to wrap up the LIA's work on July 20, chairman Doug Prosser said the group had voted to continue implementing its scheduled projects over the coming weeks.

"We have a lot of leases, licences and projects that have to be allocated back to different people," he said.

"But until we sort that mess out, we've decided to continue on with the projects we had started as we'd like to complete everything we had planned."

The authority's various contracts were expected to be handed over to either Wollongong and Shellharbour councils or the land department.

Mr Prosser said determining which body would handle the different sections of the lake was a complicated process, which could take months to complete.

"The authority does have quite a lot of irons in the fire and it has managed a lot of land over time so now we have to decide what to do," he said.

"We're in a transition period now; it will last about 12 months and it should give someone time to sort out who owns what."

The authority announced last week that it had secured a contract for dredging from the shore of Burroo Bay, near Deakins Reserve in Oak Flats.

The dredging, estimated to cost about $90,000, would remove fine sediments from the ground, improving the mucky shoreline for the region's sailors and canoeists.

"Sailing and rowing clubs use the jetty in that area and they've had to walk on the muck for a long time," Mr Prosser said.

"I can remember using the jetty in the '70s and having to clamber around in the dirt; it's a small project but quite an important one."

The shareway link between Koonawarra Bay and the power station hot water outlet channel at Yallah was also set to be completed, along with plans to improve boating at Berkeley boat harbour.

Shareway works were also set to be carried out at Koona Bay and Picnic Island.

 Lake Illawarra Authority chairman Doug Prosser. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Lake Illawarra Authority chairman Doug Prosser. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Mr Prosser was hopeful work would continue on the lake, despite the authority's demise, particularly in light of the growing population.

"The next 20 to 30 years will be critical," he said.

"We will have another 100,000 people living in West Dapto and where you have people, you have pollution.

"I'm hoping for the best but expecting the worst."



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