21 January 2022

Batemans Bay residents react to new floating pontoon, giving boats a place to dock

| Tom McGann
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Piling for new pontoon

Piling is being installed by Transport New South Wales for the new floating pontoon. Photo: Tom McGann.

A new L-shaped floating pontoon will soon be installed in the Clyde River as part of the Batemans Bay Bridge project, creating an area for boats to dock closer to the foreshore and town centre.

It is something boaters believe is needed, as they are currently unable to dock close to the town enabling quick access to the shops and a break from the water.

Locals who often take boats out in the Clyde River have been sharing their opinions on social media.

Batemans Bay’s Colleen Arena says she believes it is a great idea.

“We often go up and back to Nelligen and a few times we have wanted to stop in the Bay and grab a coffee, but there was nowhere to dock.”

Joshua Antill says towns like Batemans Bay need spaces for boats to dock.

“It’s a necessity for any coastal town,” he said.

Emanual Vavoulas, also from Batemans Bay, welcomed the news but said the jetty in Nelligen needed to be made bigger.

“Great news, but they also need to make the one in Nelligen a little bit bigger as it has heaps of car parks, but only able to dock one or two boats at a time.”

The Eurobodalla Shire’s new mayor, Mathew Hatcher, also weighed in.

“Water access is so important for our coastal region,” he said.

READ ALSO Funding for six boating infrastructure projects on the Far South Coast

Piling has begun, with 10 poles rising from the water in preparation for the pontoon to be installed.

Floating pontoons or floating docks are platforms that are supported by pontoons and are usually connected to the shore using a gangway.

This type of pier allows watercraft to be secured to it, independent of tidal elevation, making it useful for docking boats, which Transport for NSW says will be a big part of the pontoon.

“This pontoon will give better access to the foreshore when it opens for use,” a NSW Transport spokesperson said.

“Right now, there is nowhere for boats to dock close to the bridge and town centre, this will solve that problem.”

The floating pontoon will be connected to the already installed fishing jetty, giving boat users a path to the shore.

An artist's impression of the new L-shaped floating pontoon.

An artist’s impression of the new L-shaped floating pontoon. Image: Supplied.

Currently, the only other floating pontoons in the Eurobodalla Shire are in Moruya and Narooma, however these are smaller and made specifically for fishing.

Marine Rescue Batemans Bay were not aware this was taking place.

READ ALSO $200,000 for Marine Rescue Batemans Bay to expand facility

Batemans Bay Branch Unit Commander Michael Syrek says there has been a lack of communication with new things happening in the Clyde River after the resignation of former member of parliament, Andrew Constance.

“We don’t know enough about it but we would love to know more,” Mr Syrek said.

Mr Syrek believes the state government should be looking at creating more boat ramps as well.

“Right now, however, our main concern is that we need more boat ramps around the river – the one at Hanging Rock gets far too congested at peak time.”

Despite this, Mr Syrek believes this is a good idea.

“I think the public will like it though because there isn’t anywhere to dock boats that close into town at the moment,” he said.

According to Transport NSW, the floating pontoon is expected to be installed and opened to the public early this year.

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Sylvia Bryant11:46 am 23 Jan 22

I believe it’s a good business and leisure idea to bring better access to boaties.

Harry Watson Smith2:21 pm 22 Jan 22

The Batemans Bay Boaters Association has been advocating for floating pontoons along the CBD foreshore since the Bridge Foreshore Advisory Committee was formed. It had to overcome the ex Mayor and Council hurdles and the non-delivery of the local Member.
We worked with the BB Chamber and published a comprehensive study “A Game Changer for the BB Foreshore” in 2019 to show the benefits to the community, boating and fishing communities of their construction.
These pontoons were an offset for the removal of old rotten concrete wharf now being kept upstream and this facility. It is built by John Holland as part of the bridge contract.
When completed it will provide not only advantages to the boating community but to locals and tourists to turn their view from the shopping precinct towards the Clyde River and our beautiful Bay

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