Merimbula - 2EC

Accessibility improvements to be made in Merimbula

Short Point Merimbula Plan

Today (Tuesday March 1) is International Wheelchair Day.

South East locals and visitors in a wheelchair will have a new accessible space to visit after Bega Valley Shire Council announced accessibility improvements will be made at Short Point in Merimbula.

The area that attracts beach goers, fishermen, surfers, picnickers and whale watchers will be the third area in the Bega Valley to have accessibility improvements made after changes at Pambula Beach and Bruce Steer Pool in Bermagui.

Works are scheduled to commence at Short Point, Merimbula on 14 March as part of the Bega Valley Shire – A Destination for All program.

Council’s Project Manager, Amelia Souter said Short Point was selected for the program due to its high visitation and use.

“Short Point has been a much-loved and used area by visitors and locals over many years,” Ms Souter said.

“Given the physical extent of the headland and the high visitation numbers, there was a need to improve access to the headland for all members of the community, and better locate and improve visitor facilities.”

The works will include new toilet amenities including accessible cubicle and outdoor showers, new accessible picnic tables, a new timber viewing deck and seating platform, new accessible parking bays, accessible footpath linking the new amenities building to headland walk, new sun lounges and furniture including bins, and a space for a future commercial food/beverage van (an expression of interest will be run by Council at a later date).

“There will be some interruptions during the works to ensure we can carry out the project in a safe, efficient and timely manner, but we hope the end result will make the short inconvenience worthwhile,” Ms Souter said.

The existing public toilets will be closed for the duration of the works while the new toilet facilities are being constructed. Alternative public toilets are available at Spencer Park and Bar Beach.

The car park will be intermittently closed at times during the construction period, however temporary parking will be available on the grassed area south of the car park during these times.

The program is funded by the NSW Government Restart program, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Department of Primary Industry, community groups and a Council contribution.

For more information, please visit the project page on Council’s website or contact Council’s Project Manager, Amelia Souter on (02) 6499 2222.

Accident in Merimbula

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Just before 9.30am today (Friday 14 January), emergency services were called to the intersection of Sapphire Coast and Merimbula Drives, Merimbula,  following reports a car had hit a tree.

A NSW Police Spokesperson said the driver and sole occupant – a man aged in his 60’s – was freed from the vehicle.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics for minor head and facial injuries.

Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash are continuing.

For the latest traffic information, download the Live Traffic NSW app, visit livetraffic.com or call 132 701.

Image Credit: Google Maps

Aldi a step closer to setting up shop in Merimbula

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The development application for the Aldi store will go to the Joint Regional Planning Panel. 

An Aldi supermarket is set to become part of the Merimbula streetscape after Bega Valley Shire Council yesterday formally resolved to enter into a Contract for Sale for 103 & 105 – 107 Main Street with the German giant.

 Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes, said that progressing the sale was another boon for the Shire.

“This is fabulous news for the town and the Shire more broadly, with greater economic activity bringing a multitude of benefits,” Ms Barnes said.

“Today’s confirmation means that this sale can progress to the next step, ensuring that locals and visitors alike may soon enjoy greater choice, the flow-on influence of greater competition and more modern and comfortable shopping conditions.

“Importantly we also envisage that small businesses will experience the positive impact through more people travelling to Merimbula and the area more broadly to spend,” Ms Barnes said.

The development application for the supermarket will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel due the cost of construction being valued at $6.9 million (any development over $5 million has to be referred to the JRPP), and also due to Council’s role as the land owner.

Car accident in Merimbula

Highway Patrol

There was a two-car motor vehicle accident in Merimbula this morning.

Traffic is now clear on Merimbula Drive after initially being affected in both directions between Merimbula Sand & Gravel and the Millingandi turn off.

NSW police & Ambulance, Fire & Rescue and the Rural Fire Service attended on the scene.

One of the motorists reportedly suffered leg fractures and was stuck in the vehicle but  was successfully extricated and transported to South East Regional Hospital in Bega. 

A male driver of the second vehicle was also transported to South East Regional Hospital with minor ankle injuries.

To stay up to date visit livetraffic.com 

Concept design for Merimbula Boardwalk revealed

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A concept design for the proposed, future renewal of the Merimbula boardwalk is available for public comment.

Bega Valley Shire Council Project Manager, Amelia Souter said the design is based on community feedback.

“Earlier this year we asked the community how they use the boardwalk now and how they’d like to use it in the future,” Ms Souter said.

“What we found is the number one reason people use the boardwalk is to connect with nature. The proposed concept design seeks to honour this, while also balancing safety and improving accessibility.

“The design widens the boardwalk to enable two wheelchairs, prams or people walking dogs to pass more easily, while still retaining the charm through a simplistic, low-impact design-level lighting to make it easier and safer to use the boardwalk at dawn and dusk.

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“The design also includes repairing the existing gravel footpaths, improved signage and safe connection across Market Street, the removal of invasive species and revegetation of native species and formalising the bush tracks and access to residential streets.

“Our overarching goal with this project is to ensure the boardwalk continues to be a key recreational and nature tourism feature of Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast.

“Now that we have a concept, we’d like to see what the community thinks about it before we present it to the new Council for endorsement early next year.

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“We currently don’t have any funding to upgrade the boardwalk, but once the concept design is finalised, we’ll be able to start applying for it.”

The timing of the upgrade is dependent on Council securing funding for the project.

To view the proposed concept design and have your say click HERE.

Feedback can be provided until close of business on 7 February 2022.

Image Credit: Bega Valley Shire Council

Fish biting to delight Merimbula's tourists

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Information from Sapphire Coast Tourism says around 42 per cent visitors to Merimbula are motivated by fishing activity, compared to an eight per cent benchmark for comparable regions including Coffs Harbour, the Shoalhaven, Batemans Bay and Gippsland. 

And with lots of fish now on the bite there is plenty of action to keep locals and visitors entertained.

Adam Blacka of Bega has hooked up one of the season's first marlins off Kianniny at the edge of the continental shelf. 

Adam also reported a lovely catch of blue eye trevalla.

The Merimbula Big Game and Lakes Angling Club reports there are good snapper and morwong at White Rock out of Kianniny, and Long Point and Haycock out of Merimbula . 

From Eden try Boyds Tower reef. 

There are also some sizeable ocean flathead and a few gummy shark north of Baronda Headland out of Kianniny, as well as the edge of the Horseshoe Reef near Haycock Point.

Try also off Tura Headland and Middle Beach, mostly in 25 to 30 metres of water.

Though patchy,  good size southern calamari continue to be taken from the Merimbula Wharf, best results in the evening, use a prawn-like No.3 jig. 

Some good Australian salmon and trevally have also been landed. 

Luderick are passing but remain shy on the bite.   

For trevally and luderick try the Spencer Park jetty on the run out. 

Artificial weed is working for the luderick and soft plastics for the trevally plus the occasional bream and dusky flathead. 

Silver spinners are taking Australian salmon.  Keep an eye out for sharks along Main Beach.

At Merimbula Lake large tailor, trevally, dusky flathead, bream, whiting and luderick are all feeding in the channel below the bridge. 

Light (prawn) green 100mm squidgy wrigglers, silver spinners, pilchard bait and pumped nippers are all effective. 

In the Top Lake try along the drop-offs,  at the edge of the weed beds, best on the rising tide. 

If you see a tailor bust-up, hunting the bait schools, don’t be afraid to fish beneath with soft plastics or pilchards for bream, trevally and even kingfish and mulloway feeding beneath.

In Pambula Lake bream, trevally and dusky flathead are taking pilchard baits, pumped nippers and soft plastics. 

There remain a few Australian salmon and tailor attracted to trolled soft plastics.

The Bega River remains brackish and best results are coming from around Mogareeka where large dusky flathead, bream and trevally can be found.   

Prawns have been exceptional at Wallagoot and anglers look towards the end of January for the next rise.

Image: MBGALAC

Free small business events on South Coast

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Small Business Month is underway with more than 220 grant recipients and 165 collaboration partners hosting over 360 in-person and online events and activities throughout the month.

The theme of this year is Rebuild, Recharge, Renew.

"2022 Business Essentials" is a series of free events designed to help Small to Medium Businesses on the South Coast understand and implement strategies that will increase and grow their business following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first event will be held today at the Moruya Golf Club (from 7:30am).

SDmallBusiness

Followed by an event in Narooma on March the 9th, Batemans Bay on the 16th, Merimbula on the 23rd and Bega on the 30th.

2022 Business Essentials is a series of events designed to assist Small to Medium Businesses in the South Coast Region of NSW to understand and implement strategies that will increase and grown their business in a trying time.

The three main topics are those that have often come up as issues of concern in areas that are often not fully understood by Business-people:
1. Who is their Ideal Customer?
2. Understanding Their Cashflow
3. Tourism In The Current Economic Climate.

The events also include a Service NSW Concierge representative to introduce the many and varied services this organization provides that can be of great benefit to small businesses in the region and the State.

Delivered in 5 locations, the live events will be delivered predominantly by three qualified advisors currently delivering The NSW Government BusinessConnect Program, one each for the three main topics, plus one local Service NSW Business Concierge.

The Advisors are all from the Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) which is the body currently charged with delivering BusinessConnect in the Sout Coast region.

To learn more click HERE

Image Credit: bongkarn thanyakij / Pexels / Canva

Marine survey underway off Merimbula

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Bega Valley Shire Council is undertaking a Marine Hydrographic Survey in the waters of Merimbula Bay as part of the planning for the Merimbula Sewage Treatment Plant upgrade.

Effluent from the plant is currently reused for irrigation at Pambula Merimbula Golf Course and farmland at Oaklands.

Excess effluent needs to be disposed of using either dunal exfiltration ponds or beach-face outfall.

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority and the community have advised that these disposal methods are not sustainable and need to be replaced with a deep ocean outfall.

The fieldwork underway will help the project team develop location options for the deep ocean outfall, with a concept design and Environmental Impact Statement to follow.

These hydrographic surveys will largely go unnoticed by locals, but involve scientists in power boats towing sonar equipment, measuring physical parts of the bay including water depth, and the surface of the seabed.

Throughout October and November, the marine ecology of Merimbula Bay was studied to better understand habitats and refine maps of the area.

Underwater videos where taken at selected locations to identify habitats and groups of fish.

For example specific surveys of abalone in shallow reef areas were undertaken, recognising that abalone fishing is vital to the economy of the area.

This new round of work follows dye dispersion tests in Merimbula Bay in August.

Harmless, bright red fluorescent dye was released at several locations in the bay to show how materials travel and spread in the bay.

The community can stay up to date with the project via Council’s website, further community and stakeholder engagement will follow.

The concept design and Environmental Impact Statement will be subject to various approvals which Council hopes to secure by 2019.

Once approval is granted, Council will be able to seek funding for detailed design.

Image credit: Bega Valley Shire Council

© Bega Valley Shire Council 2017

 

 

Merimbula Airport reopens on Friday

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Merimbula Airport will re-open on Friday in a major boost for the Bega Valley's tourism sector..

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Project Services Manager, Daniel Djikic, said the drier weather over the past week has enabled the progress of work upgrading the airport's runway.

“The final seal and line marking have been completed and the final safety checks undertaken to ensure we can safely re-open the runway on Friday,” Mr Djikic said.

“We know the extended closure has been really inconvenient for the community, but we were at the mercy of the weather.

"By giving the runway those extra few days to dry out, we’ve been able to ensure the runway extension and resealing work is completed to a high standard and will last for years to come.

“There is still work to be done on the new General Aviation Precinct, as well as roadworks at the intersection with Arthur Kaine Drive, however the airport will re-open to travellers, airlines and general aviation users on Friday morning.”

The runway extension and strengthening project is an important step toward increasing the capacity and longevity of the airport, increasing tourism opportunities and making it easier for people to travel for business and leisure.

Council has been working closely with the airlines and emergency services throughout the project and would like to thank the community for their patience.

The runway extension and strengthening project has been funded through two grants from the Commonwealth Government, two grants from the NSW Government and a Council contribution.

Traffic control will be in place on Arthur Kaine Drive throughout the remainder of the works as required.

Image: Bega Valley Shire Council

Merimbula Airport to close for six weeks

Runway extension progess

Merimbula Airport will be closed for six weeks from 31 January 2022 to enable the runway extension and strengthening project to be completed as planned, with the airport expected to return to normal operation on Monday 14 March 2022.

Bega Valley Shire Council Project Services Manager, Daniel Djikic said the decision to close the airport for the six-week period was not taken lightly.

“We know that a full airport closure is inconvenient for businesses, travellers and the community alike, however the expert advice is that we need to seal the runway during the hottest part of the year to ensure the best engineering result and longevity of the runway,” Mr Djikic said.

“Closing the airport for six-weeks means we can complete the runway works to the quality standard we need, and within the shortest possible time and budget,” he said. 

“During the closure, no flights will be able to land or take off from Merimbula Airport. Rex and Qantas have been aware of this for some time, as have the general aviation users. Emergency services have been notified and arrangements are being finalised to enable special refuelling for their helicopters.

“The overall aim of the project is to provide a runway suitable for larger aircraft and increased passenger numbers in the future, both of which will bring better services and increased investment to the shire.”

Stage one of the project is now complete, with the construction of the southern extension platform.

Stage two will involve the northern extension, and sealing and strengthening of the whole runway.

Work on the new general aviation precinct will also continue during the six-week runway closure.

The projects are funded through two grants from the Commonwealth Government, two grants from the NSW Government and some Council funds.

They are scheduled for completion in May 2022.

More information about the project is available on Council’s website.

Image Credit: Bega Valley Shire Council

Merimbula Drive detour in place

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 There's a diversion in place on Merimbula Drive, Merimbula, with work underway to repair the sinkhole.

The road has been closed, with a detour set up via Monaro and Reed Streets, for the safety of workers and motorists.

The detour is expected to remain in place until Saturday evening.

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(Photos: Bega Valley Shire Council)

Merimbula Exposure Sites listed

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Two COVID cases at Merimbula have prevented the Bega Valley moving out of lock down this weekend.

Anyone who attended the below venues of concern, as posted on the Southern NSW Local Health District Facebook page at the times listed is a casual contact and must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.

Merimbula Exposure Sites EarlySeptember2021

A second case has been detected in Batemans Bay. The new Batemans Bay case is a close contact of the first two cases announced this week. The sources of the Merimbula cases are still under investigation.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 fragements were found in the sewage at Moruya on Thursday 9 September for the first time.

Southern NSW Local Health District is urging the Moruya community to get tested with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms following the detection of fragments of the virus in the local sewage system in the last 48 hours.

This is the first detection of COVID-19 in the Moruya sewage system since the start of the Sydney outbreak. There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moruya. The presence of these fragments could signal undetected cases in the community.

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NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro says the Bega Valley was one of several areas in regional NSW that looked set to be reopened after several weeks of lockdown restrictions, until two cases in Merimbula were discovered after the 8pm daily cut-off on Wednesday 8 September.

The message from NSW Health is for Far South Coast residents to get tested, vaccinated and stay home. Testing is available at Merimbula, Batemans Bay and Bega. 

The lockdown situation in the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla will be reassessed in 14 days.

For more information on the current COVID-19 situation across NSW visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19 or health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx 

Merimbula roof blows off in wild weather

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Merimbula copped some wild weather with hail, trees down and a roof blowing off a unit. (Photo: Leah Gibbs)

Damaging winds, hail and rain took Merimbula locals by surprise on Wednesday with trees falling on cars and and a block of units losing it's roof.

2EC Mornings caught up with Louise Owen, a Merimbula local who witnessed some of the damage. 

"I was picking up my child from childcare around 3:30pm yesterday (Wednesday) and we raced out to the car... the hail pummeled down," Owen said. 

"In the rear view mirror, I could see the whole roof take off into the sky from the unit behind us," she said. 

"[The roof flew] about 5 -10 metres into the air and all the insulation was flying off, and the big tin roof must have flown about 30 metres or so, across a few other buildings and crashed onto the street."

"As we were pulling out of the childcare we saw trees crash onto two cars on Kiama street."

"It was quite scary."

The SES confirmed no one was injured during the extreme weather event. 

I said earlier that the weather around Merimbula continues to be less than pleasant - and next thing.....

Posted by Marine Rescue Merimbula on Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Merimbula up the top of doggie holiday delights

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Merimbula has been named one of the top pet-friendly holiday locations in NSW in research commissioned by holiday rental website Stayz.

The South Coast dominated the ratings with Culburra Beach, Vincentia and Callala Beach all featuring in the state's top five which was rounded out by Byron Bay.

Stayz Travel Expert, Simone Scoppa said more than two million Australian households are due to take their dogs on holidays with them this year.

“We know that many Aussie households have also added a furry friend to their family during the pandemic, so making your dog’s first holiday away with the family should be in a place that everyone will love.

"Our latest data shows that one in ten searches on the Stayz website is a pet-friendly one," she said.

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The research revealed that more than half of Aussie dog owners prefer beach holidays with their pets which is great news for tourism on the South Coast.

"We find that the South Coast of NSW has the most holiday homes in the country listed on Stayz," Scoppa said.

Culburra Beach ranked third nationally behind Rye on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula and Cowes at Phillip Island.

Images: Stayz

Merimbula Wharf temporarily closed

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Council has temporarily closed Merimbula Wharf following the discovery of what is believed to be a detached supporting brace.

Acting Civil Assets Superintendent, Tim Cook said the length of time the wharf will be closed will be determined after inspection by Council’s engineers and bridge maintenance crews.

Businesses around the wharf precinct will not be impacted by the wharf closure and parking remains accessible.

“With the summer holiday period approaching, we acknowledge the inconvenience an extended closure could create, and are working to resolve this as quickly as possible. However public safety must be our priority,” Mr Cook said.

A Merimbula fisherman who was using the wharf last Saturday said it felt a little unstable. 

"I was only fishing off the wharf for about an hour and it was fine but when the wind picked up and wave smashed the wharf you could feel the whole thing move." 

Image Credit: Merimbula Aqarium Wharf Restaurant 

New arts and theatre space for Merimbula announced

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A concept drawing of the new Theatre Twyford at Merimbula.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, and Member for Bega Andrew Constance has announced the NSW Government has provided $7.4 million in funding for a new professional arts and theatre space at Twyford Hall in Merimbula.

The Deputy Premier and Mr Constance made the announcement in front of a welcoming crowd whilst visiting Twyford Hall today.

Mr Barilaro said the funding will go towards a brand new purpose-built raked theatre with seating capacity for 200 people, adjacent to the existing Twyford Hall.

“As Minister for Regional NSW, I want people to look to our regions as see them as vibrant places to live and play – and an investment like this one goes a long way to achieving that,” Mr Barilaro said.

“This massive investment in the Twyford Theatre project is a huge boost for arts and culture in the region – and one that will significantly enhance the richness of people’s lives.

“Not only will local arts enthusiasts will have a brand new home, but the facility is also set to become a major regional attraction that will be capable of hosting major concerts and events, and in turn draw big numbers of visitors to the area.

Mr Constance said the project has had overwhelming public support.

“As the local member, it gives me great pleasure to make an announcement that will have a regional effect,” Mr Constance said.

“We will see artist and visitors to Merimbula from far and wide to experience what the new Theatre Twyford will provide.”

“The region has a thriving arts and cultural community, and this multi-million dollar project will only enhance that offering,” he said.

President of Twyford Hall Inc. Bill Deveril said it was tbrilliant news for Merimbula and South East New South Wales. "We thank the NSW Government and particularly our local member Andrew Constance who has encouraged us and supported us in this project." 

“This region has a vibrant community arts scene which will now grow even stronger with this announcement, making the dream of a professional standard theatre in our region a reality. 

“The Theatre Twyford will lift the live theatre and music community here to new levels of involvement and enthusiasm, but further it will provide the stage for professional touring circuits which at present do not come here. 

“Twyford Hall has long been the heart of Merimbula and that heart will beat even stronger when the new theatre is built alongside the current Hall,” Mr Deveril said. 

One of the greatest supporters of the project, Frankie J Holden said it was a wonderful project for the entire Bega Valley Shire.

“It will revolutionise and enrich our lives in so many ways: strengthening and deepening our local arts and performance scene, bringing world class Australian and international performers, helping the vital tourism industry and of course providing jobs.

“It is a great tribute to the dreamers who envisioned the concept, and to the persistence and hard work of many locals who never gave up on the dream.

“Not forgetting the advice, support and counsel of Andrew Constance and his team, who have helped shepherd the project to fruition,” Frankie J said.

“It’s been a real team effort, just like any showbiz production.

As I’ve heard in many a movie: “Let’s put on a show”!!

New design for Merimbula intersection

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The detailed design for the reconfiguration, realignment and upgrade of the Sapphire Coast Drive and Berrambool Drive intersection in Merimbula is nearing completion.

Council’s Design Engineering Coordinator, Jake Summerell, said this key infrastructure project is based on historical crash data, vehicle movements and community reports, with improved safety and improved traffic flows the key goals.

“Sapphire Coast Drive is our busiest local government road in the shire, carrying approximately 10,000 vehicles per day, and the current configuration means they are giving way to those using the far quieter Berrambool Drive – this simply doesn’t make sense,” Mr Summerell said.

Current Intersection CRED GoogleMaps

“Congestion on this major access into Merimbula is a daily occurrence, however the problems magnify during the peak holiday times, frustrating drivers.

“In practice, what we are looking at is similar to the southern side of the bridge in Merimbula where Market Street/Arthur Kaine Drive takes priority over Fishpen Road.

“Along with the intersection reconfiguration, the project also includes road surface upgrades, paths, guttering, drainage, line marking and safety barriers.”

With the major design components now settled, the construction tender will go to market in October. Construction is planned to commence following the busy summer holiday period and the project will be completed in the first half of 2022.

This project has been made possible through funding from the Australian Government Black Spot Program.

Images: Bega Valley Shire Council, Google Maps

New rescue vessel bolsters Merimbula's boating safety

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Minister for Emergency Services Steph Cooke today welcomed the newest addition to the Marine Rescue NSW fleet, a $329,000 rescue vessel based at Merimbula.

Ms Cooke said the new Marine Rescue Merimbula 20 vessel was the latest of 38 rescue boats funded through the NSW Government’s record $37.6 million investment.

“The NSW Government is supporting the life-saving work of Marine Rescue volunteers by ensuring they have the resources and equipment needed for their vital work to protect and assist our community,” Ms Cooke said.

“This wonderful new rescue vessel is a great asset not only for the Merimbula unit’s volunteers, but also to the boaters who regularly enjoy this beautiful section of our State’s coastline.

“A 6.8 metre split console Naiad, with twin 140 HP Suzuki engines and a top speed of 37 knots, Merimbula 20 has the power and reliability to ensure that when every minute counts, Marine Rescue volunteers can be on the scene of an emergency as quickly as possible.

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“This new vessel complements an additional rescue vessel recently delivered to Eden, which will be put to good use over the very busy summer period.”

Marine Rescue Commissioner Stacey Tannos thanked the NSW Government and the boating community for their generous financial support for Marine Rescue NSW.

“With this support we are able to deliver our volunteers modern, safe and reliable boats like this one, purpose-built to meet local operating conditions both on Merimbula’s lake and up to 15 nautical miles out to sea,” Mr Tannos said.

“Merimbula 20 is easily hitched to a trailer, allowing it to be towed to wherever it is required in an emergency, giving our members more flexibility than ever.”

Built in NSW by Yamba Welding & Engineering, Merimbula 20 features the latest search and rescue technology, and with greater maneuverability and endurance, rescue crews will be able to search for longer.

Unit Commander Sonia Teston said Merimbula 20 has faster acceleration, greater range and smoother passage to greatly enhance its crew’s ability to respond to emergencies on the water.

“This new boat arrived just in time for our busiest week of the year between Christmas and New Year, and is already proving to be a great boost to our ability to respond quickly and safely to emergencies,” she said.

“It is more robust than our previous boat and has greater endurance, which means we can operate more safely for longer periods and in a wider range of weather and sea conditions on local lakes and offshore.”

Image Credit: Marine Rescue NSW

New Years Eve Merimbula fireworks

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A statement released by the Merimbula Chambers of Commerce.

This year’s event will provide the most spectacular NYE fireworks ever seen in the Bega Valley, and one of the biggest fireworks displays ever presented on the Far South Coast of NSW.

The NYE fireworks will be held in Merimbula– but this time there’s a difference.

Breaking with the tradition of a Ford Park display and concert event, this year the event will cater for the wider community, spread out and made visible to a far wider area of Merimbula as an essentially aerial display, not unlike the Sydney Harbour fireworks.

We’re providing maps and information where you will be able to watch it from, showing vantage points all around Merimbula Lake, town and surrounds – available from the Merimbula Visitor Information Centre and online at www.merimbulatourism.com.au

Last week we met with senior members of the Council, Bega Valley Shire Council staff, the NSW Police, other emergency services providers and others to discuss arrangements for the night – to make sure Merimbula was looked after – our community, the businesses and our youth.

The outcome of that meeting was awareness; each group looking after us, are now as one on how the evening will work.

Note that the Police will be around and obvious, the ambulance will be also available and vigilant, and the Council ready to clean up afterwards in the aftermath.

Image credit: Merimbula Chambers of Commerce

 

The 37th Merimbula Classic

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The 37th Merimbula Classic saw plenty of action over the 4 days with great weather conditions at Merimbula’s Main Beach for stand up paddlers surfers, wave sailors and kite surfers from around Australia and overseas.

More than 200 competitors came from Hawaii, the U-S, Scotland, Japan and across the country.

The event was also an opportunity to witness foil surfing in the area for the first time.

The kite surfing also incorporated the Kiting Australia Kite Nationals.

Here are some locals placing well in their categories:

Stand Up Paddler - 1st place - Kai Bates, Ulladulla.

Wave Sailing - 3rd place - Carolyn Nugent, Tathra.

Wave Sailing - 2nd place - Jason Cater, Ulladulla.

Image credit: Merimbula Classic, John Smythe

 

 

Upgraded Merimbula Airport off to a flying start

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The Merimbula Airport has reopened for business after a runway upgrade.

The first flights left and arrived this morning, promising a boost for the Sapphire Coast economy.

Commercial operators are back on board bringing people to the region, with Rex resuming its 18 return flights to Sydney and 10 to Melbourne each week, and Qantas flights starting back in the next couple of weeks.

"We have re-instated our flights just as soon as the airport re-opened as we know the importance of these vital regional air links, particularly for tourism-dependent holiday destinations," said Rex’s General Manager Network Strategy, Warrick Lodge.

"Rex’s Merimbula to Sydney schedule also allows for day return travel from both Sydney and Merimbula with excellent connectivity to our domestic jet services, particularly to Brisbane and the Gold Coast."

Bega Valley Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick says that's good news for the Sapphire Coast's economy, with airlines bringing business and tourists to the region.

"It's not only the tourism sector that benefits from it, of course," he said.

"It's the whole shire, like people who have medical appointments in Sydney or business appointments - the airport just benefits everyone, especially people who buy houses here and may come from Sydney and how quickly they can get down here now with two airlines operating."

Cr Fitzpatrick said work on the new General Aviation Precinct, as well as roadworks at the intersection with Arthur Kaine Drive, were continuing.

Image: REX 

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 

Virus detected in Merimbula sewage

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NSW reported 308 new cases of COVID-19 to 8pm last night, with no new cases on the South Coast.

However, fragments of the virus have been detected in the sewage at Merimbula, where there are no known cases.

Everyone in the Merimbula area is urged to monitor for the onset of symptoms, and if they appear, to get tested immediately, and isolate until a negative result is received.

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To 11:59pm on Tuesday 2 November 2021, 93.7 per cent of people aged 16 and over across NSW had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 88.7 per cent were fully vaccinated.

In the 12-15 year old age group, 79.6 per cent have had their first dose, and 65.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.

There are more than 500 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW. A full list of SNSWLHD’s clinic sites and hours is available HERE.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away – don’t delay.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.
  • Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
  • Wear a mask indoors at public venues and while on or waiting for public transport.