4 February 2023

Tathra Wharf restoration to start second stage after stockyards replaced

| Albert McKnight
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The first stage of the Tathra Wharf restoration works involved the replacement of the stockyards. Photo: BVSC.

The first stage of the much-anticipated restoration work to the Tathra Wharf has nearly finished and the next is set to begin.

Work for the ”like-for-like” year-long restoration began on the historical structure in November 2022.

Bega Valley Shire Council said as of late January 2023, the stockyards and part of the stock race had been replaced and would be used as the main public access to the wharf for fishers and visitors during the next stages.

The council’s director of assets and operations Ian Macfarlane said the finished products were outstanding, with particular attention to heritage detailing using traditional bridge and wharf carpentry as well as reattaching some of the old ironwork.

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He said the second stage of the project involved starting to restore the main wharf deck.

The main ramp to the deck was replaced after sustaining major damage during the June 2016 east coast low and does not need to be restored, but it will be temporarily reinforced to support construction traffic.

At the start of February, a construction fence will be placed down the middle of the deck to separate the public from the next stage of work, which means the main ramp will be closed to the public, as will the Headland Walk link through to the wharf.

“The main ramp is the only way the contractor can access the main wharf deck, with machinery, materials and crane operations overhead,” Mr Macfarlane said.

However, the wharf can be accessed through the newly restored stockyards and stock race.

The restoration work will also include the repair or replacement of piles, structural timbers and decking as well as concrete footings and pads.

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Tathra Wharf was built in 1862 before eventually falling into such a poor state it was condemned to be demolished.

However, the community rallied behind its much-loved icon and lobbied for 10 years to save it.

It is the last surviving deepwater wharf on NSW’s eastern seaboard.

The wharf’s restoration program is funded by the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package.

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