RECREATIONAL boaters and marine tourism in the Clarence Valley are set to benefit from a new state government Maritime Infrastructure Plan, with the Clarence River identified as one of the 14 key areas for investment.

The plan, aimed at a more coordinated approach to investment in maritime infrastructure, is set to be implemented from this year, and includes around 250 projects being supported by more than $50 million in Boating Now grants as well as almost $27 million investment from councils, community groups and the private sector.

According to the plan, the combined area of the Clarence River, and the towns of Iluka and Yamba are a significant location for commercial fishing, second only to Eden for both the scale and local importance of the industry.

"Recent investment includes $9.3 million in Coastal Infrastructure Program funding towards the Yamba and Iluka breakwaters and the Yamba fuel jetty and catwalk repairs and $2.5 million under the Coastal Dredging Strategy to improve boating access in the Clarence River and the Yamba boat harbour," the plan says.

"In addition $1.2 million in Boating Now funding has been allocated to boating access improvements in the area including at Yamba, Iluka and Maclean."

Priority infrastructure for the Clarence River to be identified for investment includes:

  • Accessible and clearly marked river entrance and navigation channels to provide access to Yamba, Iluka and further upstream to support further economic growth opportunities.
  • Sufficient on-water storage capacity that meets demand for local commercial fishing, tourism and recreational vessels, larger vessels and recreational vessels visiting by sea.
  • Sufficient fuel, sewage pump out and vessel maintenance and repair facilities that meet the needs of local and visiting vessels.
  • Breakwaters that enable access to the river entrance.

Full details of the plan are available here.