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."

 

 

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

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

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(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)

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