Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams says the NSW Nationals in Government is providing $5 million for councils to take immediate action to ease the impact of bushfires on coastal waterways including Lake Cathie.

The NSW Nationals in Government are committed to supporting councils to mitigate the effects of the recent bushfires on sensitive estuary ecosystems.

“At the end of January I encouraged Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to seriously consider applying for funding with the announcement of $5 million available for councils to immediately implement strategies to stem the impacts from the recent unprecedented bushfires,” Mrs Williams said.

“The effects of the bushfires have the potential to degrade coastal waterways by impacting water quality and coastal ecosystems which in turn has the potential to impact estuary environments and local industries such as tourism and aquaculture.

“Contrary to recent newspaper reports, the NSW Government has plenty of funding available to support Lake Cathie and as the lake falls within the impacted fire area and with applications closing on the 10th March, I am calling on Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to move very quickly to apply for NSW Government funding and get on with the job of upgrading their REF for the Lake.

“In addition, Council had already made a decision to allocate $1 million as per the Council resolution of the 16th October 2019 which you would assume doesn’t rely on them completing their Coastal Management Plan. Again, this is contrary to a newspaper article dated 4th March.

“Over the past eight years, the NSW Government has allocated more than $1.3 million to Council for environmental, dredging and infrastructure for Lake Cathie and I will continue to advocate for Council should it apply for this round of funding.”

The Bushfire Affected Coastal Waterways Program funding round is open for applications from councils until March 10, 2020 or until the $5 million allocation has been exhausted.

Activities eligible for funding include but are not limited to:
• sediment and erosion control actions
• dune management and restoration
• estuarine foreshore restoration
• littoral rainforest regeneration and restoration
• coastal wetland restoration
• habitat restoration
• riparian corridor management
• water quality monitoring to determine the impacts of recent fire activity
• other post-fire actions that minimise further environmental impacts on coastal waterways and estuaries.

For more information on the program, and how to apply for grants, visit: For more information on the program, and how to apply for grants, visit: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/water/coasts/coastal-and-estuary-grants/bushfire-affected-coastal-waterways.