Roads and Maritime has released findings of a study into river erosion that recommends implementing land- and water-based erosion management measures to ensure a successful, long-term outcome for the Williams River.
In early 2015 Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) released its Regional Boating Plans for NSW. One of the common issues identified during this consultation process was riverbank erosion.
A state-wide framework for riverbank management has been developed to ensure riverbanks are managed consistently and maintained for future users. A scientific assessment of the causes of erosion and potential management options is a key element of this approach.
In response, TfNSW and Hunter Water commissioned the University of New South Wales’ Water Research Laboratory (WRL) to carry out a study that assessed riverbank erosion along 38km of the Williams River, from Clarence Town, to Seaham Weir, and to the Hunter River confluence at Raymond Terrace, supported by Roads and Maritime.
Roads and Maritime has released this technical report, titled 2015 Riverbank Vulnerability Assessment using a Decision Support System: Seaham Weir Pool and Lower Williams River.
The WRL report identifies 'a range of factors, including boating activities, poor land management practices and flooding have degraded the condition of the riverbanks along the Williams River study area'.
It provides advice on management options at sites that are highly vulnerable to erosion. In its findings, the WRL report recommends that remedial riverbank work and temporary boating restrictions are implemented to prevent further riverbank erosion.
Roads and Maritime has consulted with the community and stakeholders, and determine the best course of action to balance the needs of river users and those of the river itself.
Roads and Maritime is compiling feedback on the report and thanks the community for its input. Once this is complete, we will consider that feedback and the findings of the study to develop a draft Erosion Management Plan, which would propose appropriate land- and water-based erosion management measures that would help protect the river.
Roads and Maritime will then consult with the community on the draft Plan before implementing any solutions. We will continue to keep the community informed as the project progresses.
If you have any queries, please email WilliamsRiverStudy@rms.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 875 116.