top of page
Screenshot 2023-06-13 180949.png
  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

What would you like on the Batemans Bay foreshore

Batemans Bay Business and Tourism Chamber are asking:

What would you like to see on the Batemans Bay Foreshore?

The Chamber representative is one of a handful of selected committee members appointed to look at what might be considered when the Batemans Bay Bridge alters the foreshore of the Clyde River on its norther and southern banks. As yet the extent of the brief is not determined however it appears to be be bounded by Northern side: The northern bank of the Clyde River from the waterfront at the eastern extent of Wray Street west of On the Pier restaurant to the BIG 4 Batemans Bay Caravan Park in proximity to where Wharf street turns north. On the southern side of the Clyde river the extent of the Foreshore committee consideration is from from the western end of Clyde Street waterfront including the playground to the eastern end of the Mara Mia Walkway at its junction with Beach Road. This extent that many would agree is the Batemans Bay foreshore would allow a much needed vision to be developed. At a recent forum meeting Council accepted that they do not, as yet have a whole of CBD, Foreshore, Mackay Park vision which raised concerns that the new aquatic centre would be designed in isolation of any holistic plan. It is hoped that the Batemans Bay Foreshore committee might therefore be the catalyst that will build an integrated vision from the foreshore back through the CBD to the Mackay Park precinct. While the Foreshore committee is primarily a secret order, sworn to confidentiality agreements the community recognises that it is made up of representatives of boating groups, fishing groups, an experienced architect, business representatives, community representatives and attended by the Mayor and senior council staff. There have been considerable changes to the foreshore over many years and with many of those changes has come strong opposition. Back in March 2010 the following appeared in the Bay Post written by Eric Wiseman Bye bye Boatshed! Batemans Bay’s iconic Boatshed will be demolished as part of plans to redevelop the foreshore site. The decision is likely to anger supporters of the old-fashioned fish and chip shop, who rallied to stop a similar move in 2000.A Sydney company, CoralCorp Pty Ltd, has been selected for the project and says it intends to extensively redevelop the foreshore area, including a new restaurant and function centre. “Top class jetty facilities” are also promised.Lands Minister Tony Kelly announced the deal yesterday, saying that following a call for proposals and a thorough examination of the responses, CoralCorp emerged as the best credentialled proponent for the foreshore redevelopment.“The Boatshed site is next to the waterfront Crown reserve and redevelopment will complement works undertaken by Eurobodalla Shire Council,” Mr Kelly said. “Council has significantly improved foreshore amenities with streetscaping, an amphitheatre, alfresco dining facilities, a viewing platform and cycleway. ”Sadly it will mean the end of the Boatshed, which is one of the last remaining heritage buildings in Batemans Bay.CoralCorp says its proposal includes:*A new architecturally designed building with enhanced views along the Clyde River. *A restaurant and kiosk. *Top class jetty facilities. *Outdoor seating and eating areas. *A function centre. *Public access to an open top deck; and landscaping. Mr Kelly said CoralCorp’s vision integrated well with council’s foreshore master plan.However it met with little support on the streets of Batemans Bay yesterday, where people described the architect’s impression as out of character with the coast. Mr Kelly said, as the Boatshed site was public land, the Government was required to open the opportunity to all interested parties. “But in recognition of the Innes family’s long association with the locality, CoralCorp has committed to negotiating with it to continue operating the kiosk and ticketing for marine tours,” the Minister said. “Effectively, the existing businesses will remain but will be upgraded to a first rate standard for the enjoyment of Batemans Bay residents and visitors.” The Land and Property Management Authority and CoralCorp have signed a heads of agreement for the redevelopment and are finalising negotiations on a Project Development Agreement. A timetable for the project has yet to be announced. CoralCorp is based at North Ryde in Sydney and is the successful developer of projects such as the Fishermans Wharf retail complex at The Entrance. But that didn't go ahead. There are still questions around the fact that while the Innes boatshed building has local heritage it doesn't actually have State Heritage and as such can come down at the sign of a pen. Another point of agitation which is often an elephant in the room is that there is an enormous difference in the rental being paid for a fish and chippery on Crown land and for annual rental of adjacent property at up to $108,000 per year difference. A revision of the foreshore as a whole on the southern side, inclusive of the opportunity to see more waterside cafes on the crown land at equitable costs, is welcomed by those who are now looking at the long term vision. Change has come slowly. At the time of determining the location for a public toilet for the town there was strong opposition to the new Clyde Street toilet block near Innes Boatshed however many in the community, including the long distance bus passengers, are thankful that that facility did go ahead. Political influence has long dictated this foreshore and will continue to do so in years to come. The Batemans Bay Chamber of Business and Tourism is represented n the committee and have the best interests of the businesses of the town. In light of Council having not reviewed its Batemans Bay CBD overview for more than a decade the Business Chamber drafted a vision for Council to consider that included incorporating past strategies and ideas in its proposals for the foreshore expanding in detail on:

Floating Pontoons for inclusive and recreational boating that would be located at the now failing T Wharf and the "Merinda Wharf" that many now consider to service single users. Only recently the licences of two users of the T Wharf were rescinded leaving the only licenced user of this public funded wharf to enjoy its use. By replacing this wharf with a floating pontoon many believe that the opportunities for far greater public use will come into play. Some might argue that having to repair wharves due to large swells and tidal surges should require the idea of floating pontoons to be looked into more closely however it is assuring that it is the RMS and John Holland, both experts in this area that will be offering professional opinion rather than relying n hearsay. The capacity of pontoons with new technologies enables easier loading of vessels with passengers for a wide variety of craft as does the ease of access for those craft to load everything from family picnics to ocean buoys, to refuel and also to discharge their sullage and waste as has been proposed that would add and essential facility to assist the many houseboat operators on the Clyde River. "It becomes a win-win for many rather than just benefiting one or two" we were told by a committee member who has been told to remain silent. "One thing for certain is that we will be seeking clarity around declarations of any conflicts of interest by all parties because we are meant to be representing the community and not self interest parties". "One of the best things with pontoons is that they don't become something that just one operator owns. You can't leave gear all over them and tieing up is temporary to allow everyone to use them". The Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce and Tourism have thrown their hat into the ring with the following ideas: A Sculpture Walk, A Marine Tourism Precinct, A Micro Marina, Connectivity with the CBD via land and water, aesthetic enhancements. Activating the foreshore area affected by loss of access with inclusion of commercial components while also ensuring a level commercial playing field On their agenda for discussion regarding the impact of the new bridge on the CBD will be annulment of loss to affected businesses seeking to establish well communicated scheduling of road closures and other impacts that will affect the finacial viability of the chamber's members as was clearly seen by the streetscaping works of Clyde North and Orient Streets and is being witnessed as a result of the light rail in Sydney. The Batemans Bay Boaters Association has been in close communication with NSW Ambulance Aeromedical Services in regard to reopening the BB Marina Helipad now that some structures have been removed from the safety zone. With Mackay Park precinct soon to become a heavy industry zone many beleive it is time the five year temporary arrangement that saw council decommission the old helipad when development encroached into the restricted area be reinstated or relocated nearby. It is understood that there are considerations to extend it seawards to take the larger Toll air ambulances. This however is outside of the brief of the Foreshore Committee blinkered to only consider the immediate foreshore around the bridge.

The Batemans Bay Chamber are asking the community to please post what you think for current Foreshore Committee discussions?

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

bottom of page