Tea Gardens Slipway Upgrade Complete

Tea Gardens Slipway Association President Paul Bendy at the Slipway adjacent to ANZAC Park on the Myall River at Tea Gardens.

 

FOR boaters the annual trip to the slipway has become harder over the years.

There are less facilities, mainly due to the need for slipways to offer environmentally friendly services.

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As we learn about the impact of scrubbing off the barnacles and adding a fresh coat of paint, there are ever more rules in place to protect our environment.

Port Stephens has slipways at Tea Gardens, Nelson Bay and Oyster Cove.

The slipway at Little Beach is gone and larger vessels travel as far as the Gold Coast for a cost effective solution to keeping their bottoms clean.

Now the retention of waste water at slipways is mandatory to protect sensitive marine environments.

Boaters in the Myall Coast area can now maintain and repair their vessels, without fear of polluting the Myall River, thanks to the recent upgrade of the Tea Gardens slipway.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Taylor Martin said the 60-year-old slipway at Tea Gardens is one of very few maintenance and emergency response facilities along the NSW coastline.

“It was moved onto higher ground, safely above the tidal zone, so that boaters can now inspect, clean and repair their vessels without wastewater polluting the beautiful Myall River,” Mr Martin said.

“This is due to the installation of in-ground drains, along with storage and treatment tanks for wastewater collection and treatment.

“The upgrade also included a new winch house with amenities, a longer rail to the boat cradle and concrete pads.”

Work on the slipway upgrade started in March this year and took about six months to complete, just in time for the start of the boating season.

The $669,000 upgrade project was primarily funded by a $539,000 grant from Transport for NSW, with a $130,000 contribution from the Slipway Association, as part of NSW Government’s $28 million investment under Round 3 of the Boating Now program to improve boating access, amenities and safety for NSW boaters.

Tea Gardens Slipway Association President Paul Bendy said the slipway upgrade has meant the community-owned facility can continue to exist.

“The primary benefit of the upgrade is that we have been able to ensure we keep our own marine emergency response facility in our area and also vastly improve our environmental compliance,” Mr Bendy said.

“Boating is probably the prime recreational activity in our area, so having appropriate and fit for purpose facilities to service those activities is critically important to our community’s viability.

“Without the assistance and funding from Transport for NSW’s Boating Now program, the upgrade would never have happened and the slipway would have eventually closed forever.”

Mr Martin said the Tea Gardens slipway is the only facility of its kind in the area.

“The upgrade has improved how the slipway facility can operate and the level of environmental compliance that can be achieved,” Mr Martin said.

However, some Port Stephens vessels may not be able to access the slipway due to the bridge.

The Boating Now program is funded from boating licence, registration and other fees collected by Transport for NSW.

Since its inception in 2014, the program has delivered more than 200 boating projects to the benefit of boaters across NSW.

Transport for NSW is expected to call for round four applications for the Boating Now program later this year.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Here to stay, the Tea Gardens Slipway has been upgraded and ready to meet the environmental requirements of vessel maintenance.

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