Gippsland Lakes ocean access dredging approvals

Environmental approvals and services
Gippsland Ports

What Swash did

  • Swash provided dredging approvals lead services to Gippsland Ports.
  • Swash facilitated engagement with Commonwealth (DAWE) and State (DELWP) approvals agencies and project managed the delivery of various studies and investigations to support long-term dredging approvals applications. Notably a Marine and Coastal Act consent (Victoria) and Sea Dumping Permit (Commonwealth).
  • Supporting studies project managed by Swash included bathymetric analysis, beneficial reuse, review of dredge design, environmental values assessment and a sediment sampling and analysis plan implementation report.
  • Swash is also reviewing and updating necessary long-term dredging management plans, environmental management plans, and community and stakeholder engagement plans.

About the project

In order to maintain navigable waters between the Port of Gippsland Lakes and Bass Strait, Gippsland Ports must conduct maintenance dredging at Lakes Entrance in the Inner Channels and the Bar. For more than 30 years to 2008, this was undertaken using a side casting dredge, ‘April Hamer’.

However, it became apparent that this approach could not keep up with the accumulating sands and, in 2005, the Victorian Government announced the Lakes Entrance Sand Management Program.  One aspect of this program was the trial use of the Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge (TSHD) in 2008, 2009 and 2010 with placement of dredge material at Dredge Material Grounds (DMGs) along the coast outside the entrance. TSHD maintenance dredging with the Van Oord Australia vessel ‘Pelican’  also occurred from 2011 until 2016 under the Gippsland Lakes Ocean Access (GLOA) program.

From 2017, maintenance dredging has been conducted using the Gippsland Ports owned TSHD ‘Tommy Norton’. This is consistent with Gippsland Ports continuous improvement approach to the delivery of reliable navigation to and from the Gippsland Lakes, and is supported and funded by the Victorian Government. The GLOA program also includes operation of Gippsland Ports owned and operated cutter suction dredge ‘Kalimna’ and associated Sand Transfer System.

To ensure ongoing ocean access to and from the Gippsland Lakes, Gippsland Ports requires renewal of their current long-term state and Commonwealth consents and approvals.

Dredging volume

The Gippsland Lakes ocean access dreding project has a dredging volume of 350,000 m3 per annum.

Related resources

Related projects