A development application to rebuild Malua Bay Bowling Club from the ashes of the past summer’s bushfires is expected to be lodged with Eurobodalla Shire Council before the end of the month.
Releasing first-draft artist impressions of the new Club Malua, Cabra Bowls Group CEO Jay Porter said the club’s board of directors and management were determined to come back bigger and better than ever.
The much-loved club, south of Batemans Bay, was razed on New Year’s Eve, just weeks before a proposed relaunch.
The Cabra Bowls Group had spent $800,000 refurbishing the facility.
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“We had put on an additional deck,” said Mr Porter. “That was built and ready to go but never even got used.
“Patronage was up and we’d had good feedback on the internal refurb. We were going to relaunch in January. Obviously that didn’t happen.”
Instead, the club was completely destroyed by the bushfire, with only the greens surviving the savage blaze.
“Thankfully, the fire left the greens alone,” said Mr Porter. “Only the western-most side had a little burnt patch.
“We brought in a marquee and were able to have bowls played. We just wanted to provide something for our patrons. They had not only lost their club, many had lost their homes as well.
“The club means a lot to them; some of them come nearly every day.
“We got the marquee up as soon as possible and we didn’t stop the bowls. Then COVID-19 happened.
“The last day of 2019 wasn’t great and 2020 hasn’t been tremendous so far.”
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The club’s board is hoping that’s all about to change. If the DA passes through council without too much delay, it hopes to begin construction by the end of the year.
“Ideally, we’d like to start work in November but it’s probably more likely to be December,” said Mr Porter.
“We anticipate all up it will cost us between $7.7 million and $8 million. Eurobodalla Shire Council has been absolutely fantastic so far. We intend releasing the floor plan after the DA is submitted, but the new club will certainly feature a restaurant, beverage, kids facilities… it will be an expanded footprint. Bigger and better than it was before.”