New refurbishment plan for historic Austinmer bathers’ pavillion

Austinmer surf club pavillion

The historic Austinmer bathers’ pavillion (left) and surf club

A REVISED proposal to refurbish the historic Austinmer Beach Bathing Pavilion has been put forward by Wollongong City Council.

After earlier consultation, the Council have returned with a new proposal, which includes no changes to the internal layout of the building, with the exception of an access through the front wall to an accessible amenity, and the relocation of some showers.

Council is asking the community for feedback on the latest proposed works, which include the new unisex accessible amenity.

The Council says the severely deteriorated concrete elements will also be repaired, extending the life of the building, and the building will undergo an overall refurbishment with new fixtures and fittings installed. The proposal is part of the Council’s Beach Access and Foreshore Strategy.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said installing an amenity at Austinmer Beach to meet contemporary access standards will ensure people with disability can enjoy the recreational opportunities the pools, beach and broader precinct provides.

“Our Beach Access and Foreshore Strategy lists the Austinmer precinct as one of our priority areas for improvements which will mean people with disability, their families and friends can better use this space,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“The Strategy also identifies Austinmer as a priority area for beach matting to assist people to get down on to the beach using a beach wheelchair. This has been installed and the revised proposal for the amenities building is the next step for increasing access for everyone to this popular spot.”

The proposed improvements are:

  • An accessible amenity, with toilet, shower and an adult change table
  • Concrete repairs to the external and internal walls, roof slab and balustrade. The durability of the building will be improved using a cathodic protection system
  • Replacing the existing lightweight roofs at the north and south ends of the building with new roof framing and sheeting
  • Repainting the building inside and outside, and an epoxy floor coating installed inside
  • New toilets, showers (with doors), fixtures and fittings will be installed. New hooks will also be provided.
  • Repair and painting of the beach seats
  • Insertion of an accessible amenity (with access through the front wall) and the relocation of some showers.

A new concrete topping will be added to address the internal water ponding issue along the eastern side of the building. The existing noticeboard will be removed during refurbishment and reinstalled on the eastern wall.

Work is planned to start on the refurbishment after Anzac Day 2020.

The Council said the placement of the accessible toilet and change facilities was considered in terms of any heritage impacts to the façade of the building and meeting standards for access. Council proposes that the best location is in the centre of the building to allow equal access. This will require the removal of a small section of existing seating.

Paint colours are the same as those displayed to the community in the Council’s initial consultation and are sympathetic to the Surf Club building and Boat Shed.

Local heritage listing of the building is still being considered and will be part of the city-wide review of the heritage schedule in the Local Environmental Plan next year.

For more information visit the Have Your Say website or call the Council on (02) 4227 7111.

The Bulli Times Gift Shop

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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