11 February 2022

Decking out the Wagga Boat Club for events over Lake Albert

| Max O'Driscoll
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Lake Albert deck

The Wagga Wagga Boat Club hopes their $50,000 deck over Lake Albert could bring in a range of different events. Photo: Wagga Wagga Boat Club.

If beers by the lake are anything to go by, beers on the lake might be even better.

Expected to be ready before the end of winter, the Wagga Wagga Boat Club has started work on a new deck over Lake Albert.

The project will cost the club about $50,000 and organisers are hoping it will make the venue an integral part of the events scene in Wagga. They say the deck will make anything from corporate events to live music and weddings over the water possible.

Wagga Wagga Boat Club commodore and new councillor Mick Henderson said it’s a project that’s been a long time in the making after a difficult period with drought and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It’s been talked about for eight years and been designed two years ago, and now we’re finally getting into it,” said Cr Henderson.

“The club has really battled for the last decade. Between low water, which we just got over, and then COVID came in, and it’s affected the patronage and there’s been a real downturn at the club.

“We scaled back and we’re surviving through that, but we’re really hoping to come out the other side with the lake being full and COVID restrictions being lifted,” he said.

The Wagga Wagga Boat Club is already home to one of Wagga’s nicer views. Photo: Wagga Wagga Boat Club

The original development application was submitted when Lake Albert was empty and due to the extent of rain over the past 12 months, those plans had to change.

“We had to redesign and a company in Queensland made some screw piers and designed them for us and that enabled us to put the piers in while the lake was still full of water which is a great bonus to us,” said Cr Henderson.

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While a lake full of water may have disrupted the deck’s construction, it does make the prospect of a day on the deck considerably more enticing, particularly as events return.

“When we’ve got events on the water, it could be a key spot for viewing and for businesses to sponsor the deck for the day, and just entice people to come down and sit over the water, there’s virtually nowhere in Wagga with facilities like that,” said Cr Henderson.

He believes there is around four months of work to go. Steelwork and framework will be the next stage of construction before the decking and handrails go on. Then the final landscaping touches to the surrounding beer garden area before the project is complete and ready for use. The club will continue trading during construction.

Cr Henderson was confident that the deck could last “at least a good 20 years” before it requires maintenance.

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