Friday 12 August 2016
Bega Valley Shire Council is planning for repair works to begin on Tathra Wharf despite a lack of clarity around funding the works.
Following this week’s meeting of Council, specialist marine building firm GPM Constructions have been tasked with the job, and are expected to start within four weeks.
“It was imperative we start now,” said Terry Dodds, Council’s Director Transport and Utilities.
“The community and Council want this job done for the summer holidays and we are making sure that will be the case.”
Depending on weather and tides, the project will take about 8 weeks to complete.
The old steamer wharf felt the full force of record breaking seas in early June.
Seas reaching up to 18 metres high lifted a section of the wharf decking up off its 150 year old pylons below.
The total cost of the repair work is estimated to be $500,000.
Negotiations are on-going with Council’s insurer, as well as Federal and State Governments around contributing appropriately to that expense.
“Instead of waiting for the money to be resolved, Council has taken the pro-active step of finding the funds from within and will be looking to those other options for reimbursement later,” Mr Dodds said.
“Given the importance of Tathra Wharf to tourism and recreation in the Shire, we simple can’t leave it as it is now.”
The wharf will remain open during the works, with access via the ‘cattle race’ on the western side of the building.
“Many visitors and locals have mistakenly thought that the Wharf is closed,” Mr Dodds said.
“Please spread the word, the wharf is open, the fish are bitting and Tathra is always a good place to holiday.”
The project about to start is a challenge given the environment in which people will be working and the nature of the structure itself.
GPM Constructions are a Sydney based firm that come well qualified and with strong connections to the Sapphire Coast, having worked on the Merimbula Public Jetty, Mogareeka Pontoon and Wonboyn Boat Ramp to name a few projects over the last five years.
Electrical and plumbing repairs are also needed inside the old warehouse and until that time The Wharf Locavore café will remain closed.
Proprietors, Poppy and Emma Benton are keen to be serving customers again and are making plans to reopen as soon as the all clear is given.
The cost of those internal works is estimated to be around $50,000, which Council’s insurer has agreed to cover.
Temporary fencing around the eastern ramp of the Wharf will remain until the works are completed and the area deemed safe.
The public can access the Wharf deck on the western side of the warehouse via the ‘cattle race.’
Further updates will follow.