$7.1 million funding for Tathra Wharf upgrade

Sharon Kelley10 November 2020
Andrew Constance and Russell Fitzpatrick at Tathra Wharf.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance (left) and Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick (right) at Tathra Wharf. Photo Supplied.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance has announced the NSW Government will provide $7.1 million from its COVID-19 stimulus program towards the repair and upgrade of the historic Tathra Wharf.

Mr Constance said the funding will support the replacement of piers, building upgrades, and upgrades to car parking and amenities at the site while supporting jobs and the local economy.

“Tathra Wharf is an icon and a recreation and tourism magnet that offers a great spot for fishing or a bite to eat, taking in the sweeping coastline views and marine life, or just enjoying a weekend promenade to get some sun and fresh air,” he said.

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“Unfortunately the wharf has seen better days since suffering extensive storm damage from massive waves generated by an east coast low in June 2016 that virtually lifted the deck from its pylons.

“I’m very pleased to report the NSW Government will be providing $7.1 million from the COVID-19 stimulus fund to support Bega Valley Shire Council’s efforts to restore this important piece of coastal and cultural infrastructure.

“$2.13 million of this restoration funding will be provided in 2020-2021 followed by the remaining $4.97 million in 2021-2022 to provide a big boost for our region.”

Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said the funding will allow the council, as the NSW Crown Land managers of the site, to give the wharf the restoration it deserves.

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“We would have been unable to complete the works without the funding, leaving the wharf at risk of further damage,” he said.

“Council is now able to get on with the project to give locals and visitors continued access without future safety concerns, and restore the wharf as it deserves.

“The wharf upgrades will further complement the amazing Tathra Headland walking track and remain a strong drawcard for the town well into the future.”

Historic photo of SS Bega ship in 19th century.

The Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company ship the SS Bega. Photo: Public domain.

The heritage-listed Tathra Wharf has a colourful history dating back to its original construction as a shipping terminal in the early 1860s following the establishment of the Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company.

The last ship to take freight from Tathra was in 1954, but the wharf remains a drawcard with its museum, cafe and State Heritage listing as the east coast’s only remaining deep-sea wharf and cargo shed dating back to the 1800s.

NSW Minister for Water, Property, and Housing Melinda Pavey said the COVID-19 stimulus program is upgrading important community infrastructure while supporting jobs and local economies.

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“The NSW South Coast is one of Australia’s most beautiful locations, but the whole nation knows how tough this region has had it in recent times with drought, bushfires and now the tourism impact from COVID-19,” she said.

“Tathra Wharf survived the 2016 east coast low, escaped destruction during bushfires, and will now bounce back along with the Far South Coast community.

“Work to rebuild the wharf will stimulate the economy and be a symbol of renewal that will inject confidence into local tourism once completed.”

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