Residents beached by bureaucracy and delays

BUREAUCRACY and delays from the Department of Primary Industry's Water Management department is putting Yamba waterfront properties at risk according to a resident.

Residences on the waterfront of the canal in Taine Court and Witonga Drive face a serious erosion problem, with the tide and heavy rain causing substantial damage to the revetment walls built to protect the properties.

The erosion of the river bank had also caused many private pontoons and jetties to become beached on low and medium tide, making them unusable and unsafe.

"The pontoons become beached on the river bed, making it impossible to moor boats," one resident said.

"Any boats tied to pontoons also become beached and cannot be used.

"Further, the erosion leaves the revetment walls exposed down to the footings, risking damage and possible collapse of those walls."

Residents are frustrated that their applications to the DPI for permits to restore their river front properties face a lengthy processing wait.

A spokesperson for the DPI said there have been a number of applications for controlled activity permits from residents of canal estates in Yamba.

"These applications are dealt with as they are received, and are closely assessed by DPI Water and can take up to two months to process," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the DPI was aware of the problem.

"The erosion of the banks is an on-going problem due to wave action and the initial construction of the canal estate and DPI Water is working with the residents to provide a long term solution in the approval process," the spokesperson said.

One resident said the bureaucracy and cost involved with the application was forcing some residents to take matters into their own hands.

"It seems an incongruous situation that individuals are prepared to pay for and carry out the restoration work, thus preserving the river banks, but can't do this without a permit," the resident said.

"To get a permit, you have to jump through hoops at every turn, when all you want to do is the very job that is the responsibility of the DPI Water, who actually leave the water management to the individual."

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