Construction on the accessible scuba diving entry project at Nelson Bay is getting back underway.
The $2 million project was stopped in 2021 after a landslip caused by more than 350mm of rain. Land slippages on the council-managed reserve at Teramby Road will be stabilised to restore the area adjoining the Bay Harbour Cafe.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said about $1.6 million will be invested to remediate the landslip and repair pathways and drainage and another $400,000 will be invested to construct a scuba dive entry with a disabled access ramp near the western breakwall to boost the area.
Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said Nelson Bay is renowned for scuba diving with spectacular dive sites on offshore islands, some shipwrecks, and outstanding fish, invertebrates and marine habitats.
“The accessible scuba diving entry platform will make safer and easier for divers of all abilities to enter and exit the waters off Teramby Road, and enjoy ‘The Pipeline’ which is a local feature for divers,” Kevin Anderson said.
“Already completed upgrades to the walkway on the western breakwall will also provide better access for people with disabilities.”
Disabled scuba diver Bob Staddon, who was left confined to a wheelchair 42 years ago after a swimming accident, welcomed the investment.
“Think about it, you need to put on a wetsuit, about 30 kilos of equipment, the wheelchair has to be put in the car, and you dive with at least one buddy, so a number of people will accompany each disabled diver boosting tourism,” he said.
Crown Lands is funding the work to be delivered by Port Stephens Council, in consultation with the local dive industry, operators of the Nelson Bay Marina, and Transport for NSW’s Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office (MIDO).
Image: Department of Planning and Environment