THERE were plenty of celebrations on the Wangi Wangi waterfront for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, but there was no dancing on the jetty (with apologies to INXS).
That’s because the main arm of the much-used facility behind the Wangi Wangi RSL Club has been closed since June, deemed unsafe for use, and in need of repair.
The busy jetty will be upgraded thanks to more than $1.3 million in state government funding allocated to the Lake Macquarie electorate for boating facilities.
Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper said public jetties at Wangi Wangi, Speers Point and Rathmines would be rebuilt or improved with the funding he secured under the government’s Boating Now program.
The independent MP said the funding would help Lake Macquarie City Council deliver improved boat ramps, pontoons and jetties at key locations in the area.
“The funding includes $668,779 to upgrade the public jetty near Wangi RSL Club,” Mr Piper said.
“This popular jetty is in a really poor state and is currently closed, but the upgrade will provide a modern structure, deeper water access, a floating pontoon and casual tie-up facilities for boaters.”
The public jetty near Speers Point Swim Centre will also be upgraded and reopened with a $460,000 contribution under the program.
And $190,489 will be put towards the installation of a pontoon at Rathmines Park boat ramp.
“We have what is one of the most beautiful lakes in the country, attracting thousands onto the water every week, but sadly a lot of its facilities have deteriorated in recent years,” Mr Piper said.
“This money will go a long way towards helping Lake Macquarie council provide much better and more modern facilities.”
Chairman of Lake Macquarie aquatic services committee, Ken Winning, said he was also delighted with the funding, particularly for the Wangi Wangi jetty project.
“The committee was strongly of the opinion that this jetty, which would otherwise be lost, was so important to the community, particularly with its close links to Wangi Wangi Amateur Sailing Club,” he said
The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2019.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said Boating Now was a $70-million five-year program. It’s tied to a $26-million contribution from local councils and other partners aimed at delivering vital boating infrastructure across the state.