DREDGING to reduce silt in the Tamar estuary will not start until at least June because more permits are needed.
Launceston Flood Authority chairman Martin Renilson confirmed yesterday that a start on dredging is at least another six months away.
That is despite $1 million state government crisis dredging money being announced last August.
Key business and recreational river users campaigned for the $1 million commitment to make an immediate start on dredging after a number of their operations were threatened by silt.
But Professor Renilson said yesterday that the money would not be available until the flood authority had redone silt sampling and reapplied for environmental permits from the federal and state governments.
"We have found that the environmental permits have expired," Professor Renilson said.
"They apply for five years and evidently they are just out of date."
New flood authority general manager Andrew Fullard had started work on a new sediment analysis plan, Professor Renilson said.
"That will have to be approved then we will have to take samples and once they are approved we can apply for permits," he said.
Professor Renilson said that the authority had believed before Mr Fullard started that it could go straight ahead with dredging work once it obtained funding.
Mr Fullard said that it had to be recognised that "in today's climate of environmental consideration and precautionary principles, dredging could not occur until the regulators were satisfied that the impacts of dredging, including the disposal of the dredged materials, could be managed so as not to have a detrimental impact on the environment".
He said that it was anticipated that sampling and analysis of the dredged materials and granting of permits would not be completed until May.
"Dredging will commence as soon as possible thereafter," Mr Fullard said.