Green light for Tathra Wharf restoration

Tathra’s iconic wharf is locked in for vital restoration works following the awarding of a contract to Sydney-based marine construction specialist, GPM Marine Constructions.

Tathra wharf.

The iconic Tathra Wharf

13 July 2022

Tathra’s iconic wharf is locked in for vital restoration works following the awarding of a contract to Sydney-based marine construction specialist, GPM Marine Constructions.

A multi-staged works program will start in October, ensuring public access to part of the wharf throughout the project.

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said the upgrade will be supported by $7.81 million in stimulus funding allocated by the NSW Government via Crown Lands.

“The heritage-listed Tathra Wharf is a South Coast icon and a recreation and tourism magnet so this funding will ensure the 1862 structure is restored for future generations while supporting jobs and the region’s economy,” Mr Anderson said.

Bega Valley Shire Council Acting Assets and Operations Director, Ian Macfarlane said the works will ensure Tathra Wharf is enjoyed by the community for generations to come.

“Without restoration works and financial backing from the NSW Government, we could at some stage risk losing this historic wharf to the sea,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Recent investigations into the state of the Tathra Wharf substructure revealed the need for urgent restoration works.

“This need was amply demonstrated in April this year when a storm resulted in the loss of an external bracing pile even when partially sheltered by the Tathra headland.

“We cannot afford any further damage to the substructure, so it’s terrific to see the contract signed and works scheduled.

“Works will include replacement of piles, headstocks, girders, decking, the stock yard and stock race, as well as replacement of handrails, ladders and lighting.

“All works will be like-for-like, meeting NSW State Heritage requirements to preserve the timeless character of this iconic local structure.”

Mr Macfarlane said the works are expected to take approximately 12 months to complete, weather permitting.

“We are of course at the mercy of local weather and marine conditions, but we have a highly experienced marine restoration specialist leading the works,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“GPM Marine undertook repair works to the wharf following the June 2016 East Coast Low where the huge swell caused significant damage, including lifting and moving the wharf main ramp.

“The contractor also has extensive experience in constructing much of our local marine infrastructure, including numerous boat ramps, pontoons and public jetties such as the one in Merimbula.

“These works continue the story of a 160-year-old deep water wharf from the coastal shipping era—one of a few remaining in NSW.”

On completion of the substructure restoration, the wharf building will undergo works on cladding, weatherproofing and utility services. This will require a separate heritage approval and tender process.

For more information on the Tathra Wharf restoration project, visit Council’s website.

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