THE Erowal Bay community has shown what can be achieved when council and local residents work closely together.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash and a number of councillors joined local residents to inspect the new $50,000 Erowal Bay Boat Launching Jetty.
It is the first jetty in the Shoalhaven to be completely built by volunteer labour, jointly funded by council, the RMS Better Boating Program and the local community.
Erowal Bay resident and local carpenter Paul Macken worked closely with the Basin Lure and Fly Anglers Club in designing the facility, with the work overseen by local licensed builder Andrew Mackay.
“It was a two-year process from the time we first approached council with the idea to eventually get the project underway,” Mr Macken said.
“Prior to this, there was nothing here, just a concrete boat ramp. Something was desperately needed.
“It has definitely made it a lot safer for boat users and their passengers.
“Council applied for grants on our behalf and we were successful and having been in the building game for 30 years I pulled in a few favours and we managed to construct the jetty and do it all under budget.”
It was a challenging project for the core building team of Mr Macken, Tony Rocheta, Barry Collins and Raymond Jones, who at times worked in water up to their waists.
“It took four weeks to fully construct once we started, but there was a lot of time spent in the water, which at different stages was freezing,” he said.
“The community was fantastic, various members also pitched in to help as did a number of local businesses.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Eziway Concrete, South Coast Decorative Concrete, Bosuns Wholesalers at Sussex Inlet, JD Goodsell Timber at South Nowra and Cliff French at City Muffler Centre who did all the stainless steel work.
“Even down to Jerry Sheen of the SES who donated 100 sandbags, Scott Hartmen who donated a pump and boat, Rudy Henkle a generator, while Michael Mascaro of the Erowal Bay General Store provided food and drinks – it was a real community effort.”