Bermagui - 2EC

"Why would any government destroy this bridge", tourists join chorus of dismay at plans to destroy Cuttagee Bridge

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Easter visitors to the Far South Coast were made aware over the weekend of plans by local and state government to destroy the heritage-listed Cuttagee Bridge on Tathra Bermagui Road, when they were confronted by signs at either end of the bridge.

The signs saying 'Save Me', alerted Canberra visitors to the issue, including couple Sam and Ella who were at the estuary swimming with their children on Sunday. 

The Member for Bega and roads minister in the Berejiklian Liberal Nationals government, Andrew Constance,  took the Far South Coast community, including the tourism industry, by surprise three weeks ago when he included the bridge in a list of over 20 wooden bridges in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley shires to be replaced with concrete bridges. 

Sam questioned the common sense of the government and council in destroying the region's heritage.

"Why would any government destroy this bridge? We come here for the bridges as well as the beaches. We have family at Jervis Bay and would go up there more often if the bridge was destroyed and Cuttagee and Murrah overdeveloped.

"Our kids love swimming here and the single lane bridge slows the traffic and makes it safer for all us families," he said. 

A common theme on a Change.org petition to save the bridge, which has over 10,000 signatures and growing, is it would be a tragedy for the bridge to be destroyed, with many signatories dismayed it is even being considered.

The issue is likely to become a local government election issue and last week Bega Valley Shire councilors tried to get the highly-charged issue back off their books. With the public backlash growing councilors voted in favour of "urgently advocating" to the NSW Government that "it assumes responsibility for the Bermagui-Tathra Road, given the government’s capacity and financial resources."

 

 

Bermagui locals want to save the Saltwater

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 A number of Bermagui residents are rallying to save an iconic eatery from demolition.

The Saltwater Cafe at 59 Lamont Street in Bermagui served fish and chips to visitors and locals for 60 years but has been vacant since 2017.

Bermagui local Carol Carmody told Win News Illawarra the community want to return the site to it's former glory.

"After the bushfires, the COVID, we're desperately trying to save the economy of our town and also provide jobs," Ms Carmody said. 

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The site is Crown Land and the NSW Government deemed the building unsalvageable in 2019 after a structural engineering report found the building contains asbestos, and the concrete piers had eroded in some parts to 40% of their original width.

South coast builder Andrew Hayden told Win News Illawarra he believes it is salvageable.

"We are conservation developers and are prepared to put money into it that wouldn't cost the lands department any money to get the cafe up and running, if they gave us a reasonable lease," Mr Hayden said. 

"It was a really iconic seafood restaurant, which is what we need in this town," he said. 

"It's a fishing village and there's one fish and chip shop trying to cope with the tourist season and the town all year round."

Crown Lands has agree to meet with the group. In a statement they said: 

"We will be meeting with the proponent to discuss the proposal and brief him on the constraints associated with the site."

The group believes restoring the cafe would be of benefit to tourism in the region as well as providing local jobs. 

View the proposed demolition information HERE.

Image Credit: NSW Department of Industry, Google Maps 

Bermagui sewer spill closes Dickinson Park

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A blockage in the Bermagui sewerage system has resulted in a manhole overflow at Dickinson Park.

The overflow was reported at 8:00am on Friday 22 October, and Bega Valley Shire Council’s Sewerage Team cleared the blockage and cleaned the site within 30 minutes.

Environmental Health Officers have advised Dickinson Park will be closed until Thursday 28 October to allow for drying and the replacement of mulch around play equipment.

Staff will investigate onsite today, using a purpose-built CCTV underground drone to determine the cause of the spill.

“We will know later today what caused this overflow, but we are finding that wet wipes, nappies and other items that shouldn’t be in a sewer are increasingly the cause of blockages,” Manager Water and Sewerage Services, Chris Best said.

“Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet does not make them go away. They just build up and become problems elsewhere in our local community.”

Signage is being installed at the park to indicate its closure until Thursday 28 October.

Brogo-Bermagui boil water notice given

Boil Water 1 CRED Jamie Flickr

Recent heavy rain and an influx of visitors to the Bega Valley Shire have led to a boil water notice being given to customers connected to the Brogo-Bermagui water supply.

Towns and localities affected are Quaama, Cobargo, Bermagui, Beauty Point, Fairhaven, Wallaga Lake, Wallaga Lake Heights, Wallaga Lake Koori Village and Akolele, as well as trunk main customers in these areas.

All water for drinking, food preparation, the cleaning of teeth and ice-making should be boiled before use.

Boiled water can be cooled and stored in a clean container with a lid and refrigerated.

Council’s Water and Sewerage Services Manager, Chris Best said the temporary treatment facility in Brogo is currently unable to keep up with increased demand.

“Our water treatment team have been working around the clock since heavy rain fell on the catchment last Thursday,” Mr Best said.

“However, with more visitors in the area over the summer break, it has reached the point where the treatment plant can no longer cope with the higher demand.

“The temporary plant has reduced the need for boil water notices since introducing flocculation technology this year, but even this has its limits which is why we are in the process of constructing a permanent treatment and filtration plant at the same site.

“When commissioned late 2022, it will end the need for Brogo-Bermagui connected customers to boil their water after heavy rain.

“We have previously avoided boil water notices by carting water from our southern supply, however given the increase in usage at this time of year this is currently not possible.

“Our water team will continue with a regular program of testing water from the Brogo River source, which is known for high turbidity levels, particularly following the Black Summer bushfires which heavily impacted the catchment.”

Council will advise residents through local media, Council's website and Facebook page when the boil water notice is lifted.

Water supplies in all other areas of the Bega Valley Shire are currently unaffected.

Image Credit: Jamie / Flickr

Busy time for Far South Coast surf life savers

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Surf Life Savers on the Far South Coast are reminding people to be careful around the water after being involved in several rescues over the long weekend.

 A rock fisher was lucky to survive after being washed into the sea at Pretty Point near Batemans Bay on Sunday morning.

The 34 year-old angler wasn't wearing a lifejacket at the time.

Batemans Bay Surf Club members Anthony Bellette and Ben Ralstone were called to help, although it took time to launch their inflatable rescue boat in the water due to large surf.

They were guided to the fisherman by the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter and managed to drag him into the boat, conscious and breathing before he was taken to McKenzies Beach for treatment and transport by NSW Ambulance.

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That was followed by a call for the Narooma and Bermagui teams to Mystery Bay for a swimmer in distress.

Then on Monday morning the Pambula SLSC team was on deck for four people in the water off Haycock Point after their boat capsized.

The Pambula IRB crew was able to rescue three people and the Eden Water Police picked up the fourth in a great team effort with rescuers all working together.

Life savers have also thanked the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter for its backup.

Images: Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter

 

Marine Rescue exercise off Bermagui successful

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(Photos: Marine Resuce NSW)

Marine Rescue specialists and Far South Coast Lifesavers took to the water off Bermagui over the weekend to search for "victims" missing at sea as part of a major capability exercise.

The  'plane-crash' search was the focus of a two-day regional Search and Rescue Exercise designed to test agencies’ marine search and rescue practices and coordination.

Region Operations Manager for Marine Rescue NSW, Glenn Sullivan said it was a worthwhile exercise.

"We had a simulated plan crash, from there we executed two search areas, casualties were located in the inshore search... then we found a number of targets offshore,  as well as a life raft and having casualties in the life raft that had to be extracted,"

"One (casualty) that was winched from the life raft into the Westpac Lifesaver helicopter  

"We couldn't of asked for a better weekend and great participation by all the people that were in attendance."

The exercises are done as a requirement of the state rescue board every year but also to hone the skills and development of members of Marine Rescue and partners. 

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Mega Pod of whales off Bermagui gains worldwide intrigue

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A mass gathering of whales off the south coast has caught the imagination of the environmental world.

Hundreds of migrating whales are feasting on bait schools around 20 nautical miles off the coast of Bermagui and Sapphire Coastal Adventures' Simon Miller managed to capture the phenomenon.

"We’ve got what's called a mega pod that's been off the coast of Bermagui, which is a mass aggregation of humpback whales and they're all feeding on these small bait fish," Mr Miller said.

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"It’s a phenomenon that hasn't been seen very regularly," he continued.

"We saw it last year for the first time and it’s occurring this year as well."

Local Photographer David Rogers captures the action in which hundreds of migrating whales are feasting on schools of bait off the Bermagui coast. 

Mr Miller said it's hard to say exactly how many whales are in the pod.

"I reckon anywhere from 150-200 whales but there’s just so many, it’s impossible to count as they’re not all on the surface at the same time," Mr Miller said.

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"We've got some some drone footage which captures how many whales are busting up through the bait at once, it’s pretty incredible."

Images/Video: Sapphire Coastal Adventures/Merimbula Marina, David Rogers

Power outage planned for Bermagui

Bermi Power Outage CRed EssenEnergy

Approximately 2,200 people in Bermagui, Coolagolite, Wallaga Lake and surrounding areas will be affected by a planned power outage from 9am until 3.30pm this Sunday (June 5).

Community Relations Manager for Essential Energy, Sarah Johnstone told East Coast Radio the company understands power interruptions can be inconvenient, however the maintenance work is necessary to address defects which can be a risk to public safety and power reliability.

"We will be replacing up to eight high voltage power polls and one transformer and will also be upgrading one kilometre of powerline with higher capacity cable to improve the quality of supply in the area," Ms Johnstone said.

"These works will minimise the risk of equipment failure in the area and in turn reduce the likelihood of unplanned power outages and keep the electricty network safe for our community," she said.

Darren Basterfield, Operations Manager, South Eastern said affected customers are given at least four business days’ prior notice of any planned power interruption to allow alternative arrangements to be made.

"Affected customers have received formal notification confirming the date and the duration of the power outage to enable them to make alternative arrangements," Mr Basterfield said.

Essential Energy encourages customers to have a power contingency plan and employ this plan when power supplies are impacted, either for planned work or as a result of faults and emergencies, if necessary.

Image Credit: Essential Energy

Reflection holiday parks rated travellers choice

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Reflections Holiday Parks at Eden and Bermagui have been recognised for excellence and rated ‘Travellers’ Choice 2022’ by online travel platform, Tripadvisor.

Both have ranked in the top 10% of properties and have consistently received great guest reviews over the last 12 months.

Eden Managers Robyn and John Kidd said they don’t see their work as a job, rather a lifestyle dedicated to helping others have the best time they can.

The pair couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.

And Bermagui Manager Chris Donohue said the region has a unique vibe which people return to time and time again.

He said they consistently see return guests who become a part of their Bermagui family.

Image: Reflections Bermagui vai Facebook

SES and VRA rescue training exercise

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SES Bega, Eden and Bermagui along with the Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) members all joined in a rescue training operation in Bega.

The scenario was two people tried to cross a flooded river, but managed to get into some trouble, one of the victims had disappeared.

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Despite the situation not a real event all members took the training seriously as they had the opportunity to use their skills.

Deputy Unit Controller Michelle DeFriskbom, expected a 100 percent from all rescuers from first responders to the ground crew liaising over the radio waves.

All in all it was a successful training event. 

 

Image credit: Daniel Doody

Video by Daniel Doody 

South Coast fisherman: There's at least two white whales like Migaloo

Local commercial fisherman Trapman Bermagui says he has seen two white whales, meaning Migaloo, is not the only one. 

 "Last year when Migaloo was at the Gold Coast, we actually saw one here (on the South Coast) at the same time, so I'm suspicious there might be more than one out there," Trapman said. 

Does Migaloo have a family of white whales? Have your say on the 2EC Facebook page

Migaloo fromFB Migaloo

(Photo: Migaloo)

Trapman also gives us an update on: 

-A marine accident that was avoided near Camel Rock yesterday

-A seal (pictured) who popped up to say hi to the locals at the Bermagui Co-Op

-The latest news in the fishing world on the South Coast

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(Photo: Trapman Bermagui)

Stolen ute from Bermagui set on fire

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South Coast Police have been told between 7pm on Sunday (16 January 2022) and 3am Monday (17 January 2022), a white Holden Colorado was stolen from a home on Golf Road, Bermagui.

Residents of Wallaga Lake and Akolele woke on Monday morning to the sound of explosions coming from the roadway just west of the northern end of Wallaga Lake Bridge.

Just before 5am on Monday (17 January 2022), officers attached to South Coast Police District were called to a dirt track near Wallaga Lake Bridge, Wallaga Lake, following reports a vehicle was alight.

On arrival, officers found the stolen vehicle well-alight.

NSW Rural Fire Service officers extinguished the blaze a short time later; however, the vehicle was destroyed.

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There have been no reports of injuries.

Just before the explosion a plea went out over social media asking that a Colorado Ute, just stolen from Bermagui, be left in safely after its joyride and not damaged. It appears whoever was responsible did not receive that message. 

It is not known what impact the explosion will have on the water quality of Wallaga Lake.

As inquiries into the incident continue, police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward and contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Image Credit: The Beagle

VIDEO: Weekend on our far south coast

It was an action packed weekend on our far south coast with Eat Merimbula, Bemboka Show and Sculpture Bermagui.

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Sculpture Bermagui is on until March the 18th with many local artists showcasing their artwork at various areas in Bermagui.

The 21st Bermagui Seaside Fair was in full swing with many locals and travellers flocking to see the parade, local entertainment and a spectacular fireworks display to end the event. 

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Another successful Eat Merimbula this year, with many tantalising savoury and sweet dishes.

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Bemboka Show had plenty of famliy fun entertainment check out this winning doughnut cake from Michelle De Friskbom. 

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The Wobbles performing smooth tunes to a crowd of gleeful people at Eat Merimbula. 

Image credit: Daniel Doody, Ian Campbell and Sculpture Bermagui Facebook

Video produced by Daniel Doody