Rainfall in June caused a number of branches to be washed into the creek.
Rainfall in June caused a number of branches to be washed into the creek. Trevor Veale

Branches to be removed from creek in time for tourist season

WORK will begin this week to remove dead trees and large branches in Coffs Creek.

Coffs Harbour City Council applied to the NSW Government to remove the trees and branches as they were concerned of the potential risk to the public.

The work will begin on Thursday to take advantage of a series of low tides.

A licence had to be sought to undertake the works from the NSW Department of Industry Crown Land division and Solitary Islands Marine Park as the depositing of dead trees and branches is considered a natural occurrence by those Agencies and they have jurisdiction over the creek.

"We brought the issue up originally in August, but because the agencies consider the event to be a natural process we were told that they shouldn't be interfered with," council's Group Leader Sustainable Asset Management Glenn O'Grady said.

"Despite that, we made a request to Crown Lands for them to be removed, but after some weeks we were told that they would take no action as it was a naturally-occurring process. However, we were told at that time that if we felt they were a hazard, we could make an application to Crown Lands to remove them on that basis.

"We immediately developed a work methodology, undertook the required Environmental Assessment, made a licence application to Crown Lands, including a fisheries application as dead trees are a potential fish breeding habitat, and made a permit application to Solitary Islands Marine Park.

"Those approvals have now been received and, to make the most of this week's low tides, we've scheduled the work for this Thursday and Friday, December 13 and 14. This will remove the hazard before the busy Christmas period and seasonal king tides."