In late 2015 Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) engaged Spiire Australia Pty Ltd to develop Coastal Accessibility Plans for Bruce Steer Pool (Bermagui), Short Point (Merimbula) and the Pambula Surf Club Precinct (Pambula Beach), with the overarching objectives of the project including improving overall visitor safety and accessibility to facilities and features at each site.
The accessibility-focused master planning of these three key sites explored issues and opportunities, site specific challenges and community comments and ideas for site improvements. The Plans provide intent, recommendations and cost estimates for a framework for the future implementation of prioritised and budgeted works.
The “Bega Valley Shire – A Destination For All” project involves the improvements at the site to deliver the masterplans and see the transformation of three key coastal locations into signature accessible destinations. This work will be the catalyst for the establishment of the Bega Valley Shire as a leader in accessible tourism.
The Project will deliver the accessibility-focused master planning and improvements for Bruce Steer Pool (Bermagui), Short Point (Merimbula) and the Pambula Surf Club Precinct (Pambula Beach), including infrastructure improvements such as aquatic ramps, headland pathways and beach access pathways.
Purpose - Why these sites?
- NSW Government - Restart NSW (Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund) - $2,271,000
- Bega Valley Shire Council - $235,000
- NSW Office of Environment & Heritage - $70,000
- Surf Life Saving NSW (Inclusive Communities) - $100,000
- NSW Dept of Primary Industry (Fisheries – Observation Platforms) - $30,000
- Community Groups (Fund-raising & In-kind) - $60,000
Total Funding = $2,766,000
Community Strategic Plan (CSP) link
This Project aligns with the goals and strategies of the Bega Valley Shire Community Strategic Plan 2040, in particular;
- Goal 2: We are an active, healthy community with access to good quality recreation and sporting facilities
- Strategy 3: Imprve the accessibility of the built environment, recreation spaces and facilities
- Strategy 4: Cllaborate with partners to provide facilities, activities and services that encourage more people to have active and healthy lifestyles
- Goal 3: Our economy is prosperous, diverse and supported by innovative and creative businesses
- Goal 12: Our Council is financially sustainable and services and facilities meet community need.
From our community engagement we learnt that;
- coast, beach, sea and views, landscapes and scenery are amongst the top things that residents love about living in the Bega Valley Shire (Understanding Our Place community engagement 2016)
- the community would like to see better access to, and maintenance of, areas around lakes, rivers and foreshores and better public facilities (Understanding Our Place community engagement 2016)
Council is committed to implementing these Projects to achieve the goals and aspirations of our community. It is well documented that good access to quality recreational opportunities provides many social and economic benefits for all in the community.
This Project aligns with the 2017-2021 Delivery Program as follows;
Delivery Program Action:
- Provide improvements to accessibility barriers in the Shire
- Identify and apply for grants and funding to support Council approved leisure and recreation projects
- Implement priority actions of the Coastal Accessibility Plans for Bermagui, Merimbula and Pambula Beach
- Identify critical linkages and infrastructure access to parks and reserves in conjunction with Council’s Access and Inclusion Committee
This Project would achieve the following Strategies and Actions identified by the BVSC Disability Inclusion Action Plan:
- Contribute towards liveable and accessible public places
- Identify and promote accessible strategy - Council venues and infrastructure
- Increase access to community assets
- Prioritise access outcomes in renewals and upgrades of community assets
- Include access and inclusion consideration in project management, design and strategy development