Bermagui chamber rejects current plans for town development

VISION: Architect Philip Cox released this drawing, which shows what Lamont St, Bermagui could look like under the town's master plans.
VISION: Architect Philip Cox released this drawing, which shows what Lamont St, Bermagui could look like under the town's master plans.

The Bermagui Chamber of Commerce has passed a motion stating it does not support the current development proposal for the town.

On Thursday night, the organisation held a general meeting to discuss its view of the SPIIRE Bermagui CBD master plans. 

“It was quite a robust meeting,” chamber treasurer Jim Gilchrist said. 

“Everyone in the room was pretty keen to help council spend some money on Bermagui. 

“But there are a couple of elements of the plan that need some tweaking.” 

Mr Gilchrist said drawings released to the Bega District News last week by renowned architect Philip Cox to give residents an idea of what Bermagui’s main street would look like under the master plans provided a discussion point at the meeting. 

For example, he said, some chamber members questioned where the trees would be planted. 

A motion was passed on the night stating the chamber did not support the master plans in its present form and requested it be modified with input from the people who would be impacted. 

Mr Gilchrist said the chamber would revisit the issue of the master plans next year as any CBD development in town was a long way off. 

“Council have no finances available for this sort of infrastructure spending in the 2017-2018 budget, so it wouldn’t be until 2019 that we would get a look-in,” he said. 

Last week, Bega Valley Shire Council’s director of planning and environment Andrew Woodley confirmed no funding had yet been allocated for work on the Bermagui CBD.

Also, while the majority of the chamber’s executive have resigned, its treasurer wanted to make it clear it was still “business as usual”. 

Five people from the eight executive positions have left the organisation and another plans on departing, which leaves vice-president David Francis and Mr Gilchrist as the only remaining office bearers.  

“We’ve got another six members champing at the bit to come on board,” Mr Gilchrist said. 

“I expect all positions will be filled in the next couple of weeks. 

“It’s pretty much business as usual.”