A project to restore and fortify the town of Tathra’s iconic wharf has taken a major step forward with divers conducting deep water structural inspections and assessments onsite.
Constructed in 1862, the heritage-listed wharf is one of the few remaining coastal deep-water wharves of the coastal shipping era, and findings from last week’s dives will inform the scope of the exciting restoration project announced by Member for Bega, Andrew Constance late last year.
Bega Valley Shire Council says the wharf sustained significant damage during the 2016 east coast low event, which necessitated urgent repair works. During these works, it was found many of the piles were at the end of their serviceable life and needed to be replaced.
Council’s Project Services Manager, Daniel Djikic said the wharf has been an integral part of the shire’s history.
“For over a century and a half, Tathra Wharf has brought immense economic activity to our shire, firstly as the district’s lifeline to the outside world as a major deep-sea wharf and more recently as a major tourist attraction,” Mr Djikic said.
“The wharf’s importance and significance are reflected in its inclusion on the NSW Heritage Register and this project represents a once in a generation opportunity to secure its future.
“The underwater inspections mean we can now finalise the detailed condition assessment and start work on the detailed design and stakeholder consultation phase, during which we will be working closely with both NSW Heritage and NSW Crown Lands, our key State Government partners, in delivering this important project.”
Council was awarded $7.1 million under the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus program towards the wharf restoration, including the sub-structure and decking, and to develop a precinct plan for the Tathra Headland.
“Tathra Wharf is a recreation and tourism magnet that offers a great spot to fish, have a bite to eat, or just take a walk and enjoy the magnificent coastal views and marine life, so restoring it will secure this iconic attraction for many years to come,” Mr Constance said.
Due to the complexity of the project, it’s expected the planning and detailed design work will extend through most of 2021, with construction planned to commence following the busy summer holiday period in early 2022.