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Tathra Wharf Update

Friday 10 June 2016 Big seas menace the historic Tathra Wharf

Another chapter in the rich and colourful life of Tathra Wharf is being written, with Bega Valley Shire Council meeting with Crown Lands to plan for repair works.

Assessments have revealed that the huge seas of last weekend literally lifted the historic timber deck up off its pylons.

The weight of the 150 year old structure was not enough against the incredible power of the ocean.

General Manager Leanne Barnes said that Council will be ready to go with repair works once all the steps with Crown Lands have been finalised.

“The State Government owns the Wharf and Council managesThe power of the ocean lifted the Wharf’s timber decking up off its pylons it on their behalf,” Mrs Barnes said.

“We met this morning (Friday) and everyone around the table is keen to move forward,

“It’s a matter now of completing further assessments on the structural, electrical and plumbing needs of this much loved asset,” she said.

Council is also working with the tenants of the Wharf to help them through this difficult time.

“We will waive any lease payments for The Wharf Locavore Cafe in the short term and we are planning to allow the Museum to open again as soon as it’s deemed safe,” Mrs Barnes said.

Estimates on the cost of the repair works are still difficult to put an accurate figure on, because of the specialised nature of what’s needed and the challenges of the site.

“The last major structural works happened in 2007 at a cost of $1 million, with the assistance of the Federal and State Governments,” Mrs Barnes said.

“All parties are looking at how these repair works can be funded, with insurance one avenue that’s being explored,

“Timelines are difficult to give right now other than saying Council and the community are keen for progress,” she said.

It’s thought that the integrity of the Wharf’s timber decking and pylons remains sound and it is hoped that much of the damaged structure be re-used and put back into place.

“If that isn’t the case then Council has a valuable stockpile of suitable timbers that can be used,” Mrs Barnes said.

While all the necessary scoping works are done, Council will erect temporary fencing at the Wharf to keep people and the structure itself safe.

Council appreciates the communities’ patience and respect for this process, regular updates on the project will continue.

Photograph 1: Big seas menace the historic Tathra Wharf

Photograph 2: The power of the ocean lifted the Wharf’s timber decking up off its pylons

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