About 26 representatives from local fishing clubs, the business community and others attended the NSW Department of Industry Lands workshop on improving local ports, held in Batemans Bay at the Soldiers Club on February 15.
The main thrust of the workshop was to identify the “challenges and opportunities” associated with a proposal to significantly develop port facilities at Narooma and Batemans Bay to encourage large cruise ships to visit the Eurobodalla and surrounding locations.
Acting president of the NSW Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) Max Castle of Tuross Head said there was a very good mix of stakeholders from State Government authorities, Eurobodalla Council and local business leaders, who made a valuable and knowledgeable contribution to the workshop.
The NSW Department of Industry Lands was responsible for the smaller coastal port facilities along the NSW coast while Roads and Maritime Services control the larger ports such as Newcastle, Sydney and Port Kembla, Mr Castle said.
“A draft development plan will be presented to Eurobodalla Council and the community for consultation that will encompass improved infrastructure facilities to accommodate cruising tourists while at the same time improving existing facilities for the local community and tourists,” he said.
“The proposed upgrade of both Narooma and Batemans Bay, both wonderful locations, have separate attractions and issues.”
The workshop agreed that new facilities that focused on the strong points of both locations would attract significant tourists, improved business opportunities and provide a significant upgrade and improve existing day to day facilities for all waterway users, he said.
Eurobodalla mayor Liz Innes, who opened the meeting, was pleased to see so many attending however she noticed there were a number of key stakeholders that were missing and requested a further working in the future to encompass all involved, Mr Castle said.
Three recreational fishing representatives attended - Narooma Sport and Game Fishing Club president Les Waldock, Tomaking Fishing Club president Adam Martin, and Mr Castle, who also is secretary of the Tuross Head Fishing Club - who all whom provided submissions.
The workshop was advised that anybody in the community can make contribute by visiting the NSW Department of Industry Lands website at http://www.crownland.nsw.gov.au/
“All comments were recorded and a copy will be made available. Within a short period of time a website will be up and running to keep the community informed of progress of this initiative,” he said.