Emergency opening of Smiths Lake
- Periodical exclusion zone – ongoing
NSW Maritime as part of Transport for NSW advises vessel operators that in an effort to prevent critical infrastructure flooding, Mid Coast Council periodically opens Smiths Lake ('the Lake') with machinery at Sandbar Beach to the Tasman Sea. These openings are triggered by high water levels in the Lake and may occur at any time of the year. Transport for NSW has determined that a Special Event pursuant to Section 12(2) of the Marine Safety Act 1998 is to be declared for Smiths Lake each time these events occur.
Abnormally strong currents in shallow water are experienced in the entrance area during the opening phase, which creates hazardous boating conditions for all vessels including paddle craft. Due to the potential to affect the safety of navigation, Transport for NSW has declared an Exclusion Zone ('the Zone') will be established on the navigable waters of Smiths Lake, upstream (west) of the opening until normal tidal activity resumes within the lake. The Zone extends in a 500 metre radius upstream from the opening point and will be marked by temporary yellow special buoys during these times and all public boat ramps in the area will be closed with temporary barriers installed by Mid Coast Council.
Vessel operators are advised to exercise extreme caution when navigating in the vicinity of the Zone and to pay particular attention to the buoyed off Exclusion Zone which remains in force while ever the marked yellow hazard markers are in place.
Transport for NSW advises that in relation to the works;
- Persons within the vicinity of the Area must comply with any directions given by a Boating Safety Officer or Police Officer in relation to the works or to marine safety. Failure to comply with any such direction is an offence (Marine Safety Act 1998, s.15A – Maximum Penalty $3,300.00).
- No unauthorised vessels or persons are permitted to enter the Zone and to do so may be an offence (Marine Safety Act 1998, s.12(5) – Maximum Penalty $1,100.00).
Maps and charts affected
To see the area affected, refer to:
- Transport for NSW Boating Map – 6B (PDF, 1.33 MB).