Ten-year Crown Lands licence for draining the Farquhar Inlet at Old Bar.

The licence that has been secured will allow Council to implement a notch in the sand when it reaches a certain height.

Farguhar Inlet flood release channel in February 2020.

The notch does not in itself open the inlet, rather it is designed to provide the conditions for a quick and effective opening when flood triggers are predicted.

Farquhar Inlet closes and opens intermittently depending on river flows. As the river flow drops the natural wave action and tidal forces push sand into the entrance, creating a natural sand barrier.

This is the first time MidCoast Council has been able to secure a long term licence from Crown Lands, along with the required Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit –  as stipulated in the review of environmental factors submitted in the Crown Land Licence application and Council’s Farquhar Inlet Entrance Opening Plan.

This means a flood notch can now be put in place when certain conditions are met, without further application to the NSW Government. To date Council has only been able to open the entrance during emergency flood situations.

This is a positive development and the result of a significant amount of work over the last 18 months,” said Gerard Tuckerman, Council’s Manager of Natural Systems.

We will continue to monitor the height of the sand and install the notch when it is required.

The 10 year licence and associated Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit allows Council to implement a maintenance management model where the notch is put in place and maintained in readiness for the next flood.”

Mr Tuckerman said a site survey has indicated the notch is not yet needed as the entrance has only recently naturally closed and the height of the sand spit is minimal, with occasional wash over still occurring over the sand spit during high tide.

The licence also permits future dredging of the designated navigation channels from the South Arm of the Manning River into Scotts Creek and Farquhar reserve.

In the past Council has utilised emergency powers to implement a notch in the event of a predicted flood event.

For more information about Council’s coastal management operations head to www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au.