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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Sydney Seaplanes land on the River Clyde

Back in 2017, the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce and Tourism met with representatives from Roads and Maritime Services (now Transport for NSW) to propose a floating pontoon wharf for the use of recreational boats and seaplanes.

The Chamber had a seat at the committee that reviewed the effects to the foreshore and strongly supported the pontoon concept. When planning of the new Batemans Bay bridge developed, the proposed pontoon wharf was incorporated into the bridge works as a trade-off for infrastructure replacement that would be lost during the bridge construction.

The Chamber worked with Tim Gilbo from South Coast Seaplanes in developing a concept for the pontoon wharf. In due course, Transport for NSW accepted the concept for the pontoon wharf, but the design which had been developed with John Holland Constructions was a closely guarded secret and despite many requests for access to the design drawings, all requests by the Chamber were turned down.

Eurobodalla Shire Council adopted the pontoon wharf into their Batemans Bay Waterfront Master Plan with a notation on their drawings that the new wharf would be suitable for seaplanes.

Following construction of the wharf it became evident that only the smallest of seaplanes, of which there is one such craft on the south coast, could utilise the new facility.

In all of the Chamber’s discussions, it was made clear that the vision for the new pontoon would be to facilitate water born air services to Canberra and Rose Bay in Sydney.

Aaron Shaw, the principal of Sydney Seaplanes and two of his pilots dropped in this week in their 10-passenger seaplane to assess the suitability of the pontoon wharf for his craft.

Aaron is keen to establish the air services outlined above and after viewing the wharf decided that with minor modifications to the wharf deck, his planes may be able to access the wharf.

Ongoing discussions to come up with a proposal for the NSW Government to effect changes to the wharf will be undertaken between Sydney Seaplanes and the Batemans Bay Chamber.

Image: File photo - Sydney Seaplanes

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