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Probity review of BBay Marina next week

Batemans Bay Marina is to undergo a review next week of the facilities, deliverables, building certificates and lease conditions initiated by the Minister for Crown Lands supported by the local member for Bega. The review will be conducted by a pre-eminent probity and governance firm from Sydney. They will look at all aspects pertaining to the marina redevelopment including the role of Crown Lands, Eurobodalla Shire Council and the certifying authority.

This has come after a number of reports, requested by the Minister, were submitted by the Batemans Bay Boaters Association Inc.It was suggested that the managing section of Crown Land had found the complicated nature of the works too onerous to manage and had failed to respond in a timely fashion.

A spokesperson for the Association say “The fox is no longer auditing the security of the hen house. A professional firm will now undertake the audit. This will be the second probity audit of this lease since the former Minister for Crown Lands Tony Kelly (Labor) announced in 2007 the successful proponent for the redevelopment.”

“As to who currently holds and has acquired the current lease is a moot question.”

“The local boating community was promised at least 240 wet berths, upgraded toilets and hardstand plus at least 103 size-compliant car spaces. It appears that after stage two development we have only 126 berths and no real prospect of any more. The wooden floating pontoons do not conform to the AS3962 standard and are a potential fire hazard.”

“We have had at least three nasty accidents within the marina precinct, one in which an elderly lady landed up in hospital with a bleeding head and a yacht tipped over on the hardstand. A berth holder nearly drowned when he fell off the pontoons and found no safety landers to climb out of the cold water. Fortunately he survived with the help of a passer-by, had he not that would have been the second drowning due to the lack of safety equipment.”

“Last year the Association established that the pontoons and berths were being used without an Occupation Certificate. We made representation highlighting the safety issues and this led to a qualified occupation certificate. This follows the 2015 initial certificate which was not compliant nor met the Crown Lands standards. This situation is to be investigated as part of the review.”

" In 2015 Council closed the emergency helipad adjacent to the marina due to the encroachment of marina buildings within the safety zone. This is despite the June 2014 DA requirement to the developers to comply with the CASA safety zone. It is understood that NSW Ambulance have recommended reopening and extending the current site at an estimated taxpayer cost of $300,000. "All that is required is for Council to approve this development."

Boaters impacted by the marina redevelopment or the current situation are asked to contact the Batemans Bay Boaters Association ( https://www.bbboaters.com.au/ )to feed into this independent review. Their submissions will be kept confidential.

Above: stock photo of a marina

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