Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Melinda Pavey has announced Roads and Maritime Services will meet emergency services to reassure the community any closure of Bateman’s Bay Bridge has no impact on residents requiring any emergency services.
Bateman’s Bay Bridge recently closed for about an hour after a sensor failed to operate, leaving the bridge stuck in the open position.
Mrs Pavey said Roads and Maritime would meet with local emergency services to ensure the plans in place are up to date and meet emergency logistical and communications best practice.
“Roads and Maritime have detailed incident response plans in place to ensure all emergency services and support agencies are informed should an incident occur on Batemans Bay Bridge.
“The bridge has been fitted with automated alert systems to respond to any electrical or mechanical fault events. The automated system alerts are conveyed to Roads and Maritime specialist staff.
“This response initiates protocols of centralised communication actioned by the Transport Management Centre, and the activation of incident response plans to all emergency service providers and key stakeholders including council.”
Members of the public should also report any emergency incident to emergency services via 000, which is then communicated to Transport Management Centre.”
Mrs Pavey said the Member for Bega Andrew Constance raised the issue with her on behalf of his community.
In the event of an emergency, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said, “The plan would be no different to if, for example, there were a serious motor vehicle accident on the bridge. We would look to fluidly deploy ambulance services from Ulladulla or Braidwood in the first instance.
“There are other strategies often considered including utilising assistance from other local emergency services if paramedics need to gain access to the north side of the river in an emergency situation.
“Other plans include responding with the South Care Helicopter from ACT, identifying on-call
staff on the northern side of the bridge, and commandeering a watercraft to transport paramedics across the river to any vehicle to attend the scene.”
Roads and Maritime routinely inspects Batemans Bay Bridge to minimise the occurrence of bridge issues where possible. Built in 1956 Batemans Bay is an older bridge and Roads and Maritime is highly conscious of ensuring its operation is as consistent as possible.
Last year a mechanical and electrical upgrade of the bridge was carried out and ongoing upgrades have occurred throughout this year to improve safety and reliability of bridge openings.
This year the NSW Government announced the current Bateman’s Bay and Nelligen bridges would be replaced at a cost of $300 million.
Work on the replacement Batemans Bay Bridge will start in 2019. Media Release