28 July 2023

Will Malua Bay's facelift be fantastic - or a flop?

| Zoe Cartwright
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The Malua Bay dunes are set for a change

The Malua Bay dunes are set for a change. Photo: Supplied.

A Malua Bay makeover is underway at Albert Bamman Memorial Park.

As part of the $1.4 million upgrade to the park’s facilities, access to the sand dunes will be restricted – and some residents are worried about how it might change the face of the popular beach.

A council spokesperson said to restore the dunes with native plants they would need to be protected.

“Last week, we had a crew prepare for the vegetation border which will separate the kikuyu grass from the sand dunes,” the spokesperson said.

“The kikuyu that borders the sand dunes is being removed and will soon be replaced with native dune and foreshore plants. This work is part of the dune rehabilitation we started in autumn, with some 7000 plants planted.”

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Many Malua Bay residents support the dune rehabilitation, but were concerned that a fence to protect the dunes would spoil the outlook from the park.

The Eurobodalla Shire Council said the dunes would be fenced off, but the height of the fence would make it unlikely to spoil the view.

“The dune vegetation border will be mulched and contained by Corten steel edging approximately 150 mm above the ground,” the spokesperson said.

“There will be three designated accessways to the beach to prevent people walking through the dune system and damaging the area.”

Other upgrades to the park include an expanded play space, new picnic facilities, toilet block, pathways and landscaping, as well as an accessible viewing platform.

The viewing platform will be open to the public in two weeks, and one of the barbecue areas will also be made wheelchair accessible.

The accessibility improvements were the most roundly supported by locals.

“The paths and beach viewing platforms enhance the views and walks for a whole range of people,” Joe Gilman said.

“Mums with prams and strollers, elderly folk. We often tend to forget others when some are fit and healthy.”

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Most residents were keen to know when the upgrades would be finished, as progress appears to have slowed recently.

A spokesperson for the Eurobodalla Shire Council said the project was scheduled to be finished in December, and did not say that any delays were expected.

Community wish-list items for the park included an accessible, fenced-off playground, similar to the one at Corrigans Reserve, additional public showers closer to the surf club, fitness equipment, a skate park, and a food kiosk attached to the surf life saving club.

Those additions would require a significant additional cash injection, however.

The $1.4 million in funds for the current upgrade comes from a mix of the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play program, the Lions District 2012 Disaster Recovery Fund, and Eurobodalla Shire Council funding.

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cannedbeeria7:49 pm 03 Aug 23

The fence is 150 mm high to keep the kikuyu gras out of the mulched native garden area. 150mm is about 6 inches high.
What keeps people out of the area and from trampling down the new vegetation is common sense.

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