Types of dredging
There are 3 types of dredging, as defined in the Sydney Harbour Catchment Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 2005 (SREP 2005):
- Dredging - the removal of material from the sea or harbour bed or the bed of a river, being an activity for the purpose of constructing a new or deeper navigational area or channel or re-opening a discontinued navigational area or channel, but does not include intertidal dredging or maintenance dredging. This is commonly referred to as 'capital dredging'.
- Maintenance dredging – the removal of material from the sea or harbour bed or the bed of a river where the activity is for the purpose of maintaining the previously established (approved) harbour or river depth.
- Intertidal dredging – the removal of material from the sea or harbour bed in the intertidal zone, but does not include dredging or maintenance dredging.
The planning pathway
The SREP 2005 permits both capital dredging and maintenance dredging in all zones on Sydney Harbour, however intertidal dredging is prohibited. As the SREP 2005 prohibits intertidal dredging it cannot be undertaken in Sydney Harbour.
Clause 18 of the SREP 2005 stipulates that development consent is required for capital dredging. In brief, this means that you must lodge a development application with Roads and Maritime in order to carry out capital dredging in Sydney Harbour. See Development applications for more information.
Clause 18 of the SREP 2005 stipulates that maintenance dredging is an activity that is permitted without consent. This means that it can be carried out without development consent. However, other forms of approval are likely to be required in order for maintenance dredging to be undertaken, for example, a licence from Roads and Maritime. For more information on the environmental assessment requirements for activities that may be undertaken without development consent, see Development permissible without consent.