THE newly upgraded Kiama slipway is being flagged as an important part of the ongoing revitalisation of the harbour area.
On Thursday, Kiama MP Gareth Ward, Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler and Kiama Harbour Boat Owners Association secretary Nicole Smithers officially launched the upgraded slipway.
The state government provided $20,000 funding towards the project.
Cr Petschler said the work, done in association with the state government and the Boat Owners Association added to the key infrastructure for public use at the harbour.
He said there would be extensive works conducted in the area throughout the next 12 months as part of the Kiama Harbour and Blowhole Point Plan of Management.
“Kiama Harbour has been identified as one of the key areas for future tourism development and council has works totalling over $500,000 planned for the near future,” he said.
“These works include a major amenities upgrade at the rock pool, a new road around the harbour and additional strengthening of the new wharf to allow much larger vessels to access the site.”
Mrs Smithers said the slipway, in place since the mid-1960s but out of action for at least 18 months, had been in urgent need of repair.
“It serves as an important facility for our local boat owners in terms of maintaining their boats and we are extremely pleased with these repairs,” Mrs Smithers said.
“It’s had a full overhaul.
“Everything’s been upgraded and is now in full working condition, so we’re really happy with the results.
“This is important because a lot of these slipways are not happening now along the coast.
“They’re falling away, there’s only a few of them left down the coast, so it’s important to be able to have a local one for our local boat owners, and our local charter operators.
“What’s good about it for them is they don’t have to travel to have their boats surveyed, repaired, cleaned and all that sort of stuff.”
Mr Ward said the grant was vital, as the slipway was a critical element of Kiama Harbour.
“Infrastructure asset renewal is an important part of the vision and future planning for the long term use of Kiama Harbour,” he said.