Hope floats for new Wangi jetty

28th March 2019

Source: Lakes Mail | By: David Stewart | Posted: March 28, 2019

WANGI RSL Club is willing Lake Macquarie City Council to deliver on its plan to replace the dilapidated public jetty behind the venue by next summer.

The jetty has been closed for almost two years, and the club's operations manager Wayne Izzard said it was hitting local businesses hard.

"The downturn in revenue has been substantial," Mr Izzard said.

Council said the Wangi jetty rebuild project was now out to tender, and work was expected to start in June.

"The jetty will be completely reconstructed with modern materials," a spokesperson for the council said.

"It will also be extended further out into the lake to access deeper water. The new jetty will also feature a lower level closer to the shore, similar to the current design."

Locals had been impressed by the new F jetty, rebuilt by the council last year in Rathmines, Mr Izzard said.

He's hoping for an even better reaction from locals to a new Wangi jetty.

For the time being, however, the mood among many locals was one of frustration caused by what they considered to be undue delay with the project.

A council spokesperson said council had been required to follow procedures which took time.

"Council needed to obtain the licence for the jetty from Crown Lands before work could be completed," the spokesperson said.

"Following the granting of the licence council needed to undertake the design and building approvals process, which itself takes around six months."

Mr Izzard said the delay had been unfortunate.

"It has been a little disappointing, but it is a process..." he said.

Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper has also been keen to see things moving on the jetty, having helped to secure state government funding of $670,000 last year towards the cost of the project.

Mr Izzard said the jetty was probably unrivaled in Lake Macquarie in terms of how reliant local businesses were on it for bringing income ashore.

"People stop at the jetty to come and do their shopping, to pick up their bits and pieces and supplies for the weekend, and to come and have lunch, " he said.

Mr Izzard said Wangi's other jetty close to the shops, in Dobell Drive, was not a viable alternative for many boaties.

"It's just not protected at all around there, and is exposed to all of the weather," he said.

Mr Izzard said the town would be buoyed to hear there was a timeline for the jetty's replacement.

"It's fantastic that we're now moving forward with it all," he said.

"It will mean a whole new lease of life for the club, and the town overall. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Mr Izzard said the club was also planning to refurbish its bistro and entrance, and to increase lighting and signage to make the club more visible from the water.

Having council complete the new jetty by October or November would be "exceptional" he said.

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