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Batehaven rises to be the new Heart of the Bay

With it becoming evident that the Batemans Bay CBD is quickly being overtaken by non-commercial enterprise. Once vacant shopfronts are now being leased at top dollar to agencies such as the Department of Education (old Target premises) and more recently HeadSpace and the NBN taking new premises in the once popular foreshore section of Clyde Street. With the off ramp from the Clyde Bridge temporarily closed (before being permanently closed in 2023) it is not surprising that locals are moving away from the over-developed foreshore looking for a new community friendly area for their weekend enjoyment. Batehaven, having now been bypassed by George Bass Drive, has been allowed to return to being the quiet coastal village of yesteryear, accessible by foot or bike making it family focussed it is delivering the qualities that a community want. The CBD will remain as being the place for primary groceries via Woolies, Coles and Aldi but the market place has changed since Covid with so many of us educated to buying on line. With major stores such as Target and Rivers closing their doors and with so many vacant shops in Batemans Bay the appeal it once had is diminishing and many believe will accelerate when the four lane bypass off the new bridge arrives sending visitors south to Beach Road or further on to the Spine Road. But like a lotus rises from the mire Batehaven is a shining example that the south coast still maintains the intrinsic qualities of place we all enjoy with Moruya as another example of community cohesion. The very popular Batehaven Thursday Growers Market, that was transplanted from the Batemans Bay Community Centre when they were told to vacate, is just one of the many aspects that have seen Batehaven flourish. This weekend will see the market place shine with music, arts, crafts, plants and food with a spill over into the adjacent cafes and shops. Sunday will see the markets return to Corrigans Reserve across the road and summer will see the wonderful Variety Park come alive. The recent sealing of road shoulders by Council has also extended the cycleway through the village to Caseys beach and the proposed Eurobodalla Walking Trail will start at Batehaven making its way south along the coast. Adding to the cultural component for Batehaven is the very successful Friday Garden Poets.

The dream of Variety Park is to add a free splash pad that would compliment the incredible all-abilities park that has built on Corrigans Reserve. While it was initially endorsed by Council they had a change of mind and decided they would add a pay-for-use splashpad in the new Mackay Park pool. This announcement came as a disappointment to those who had lobbied and gained widespread support for the free Corrigan location. That dream still remains however and with a new council there might be a change of heart.

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