Police in Tea Gardens fund installation of ladder on public wharf to help local swimmers

Officials unveil the new ladder on the Tea Gardens public wharf on Friday. TEA GARDENS swimmers will no longer have to drag themselves over the oyster-covered edges of the waterwhile climbing out of a popular swimming spot, following the installation of a ladder on thelocal public wharf.

At an opening on Friday, police and council officials were on hand to toast the community iniative.

Money raised from the annaul Tea Gardens police charity golf day in October helped fund the project, along with free labour donated by local fabrication firm Tea Gardens Engineering.

“Our concept with it, is the young and the old,” Senior Constable Dave Coyle said.

“In years gone past we’ve given to meals on wheels, the nursing home, Tea Gardens Public School and last year we gave to the surf club.

“It’s pretty humbling to see it being used; it’s a simple idea, but sometimes isn’t always simple to bring into fruition.

“Working with council, the local progress group and the local engineering company, it was done in the blink of an eye.

Senior Constable Dave Coyle with a young boy at the wharf on Friday.

Manager of community spaces, recreation and trades for MidCoast Council, Dan Aldridge, said it was a “common sense” decision to approve the ladder, despite not officially encouraging swimming at the location.

“We had a look at the issue and approved the issue on the sport, essentially,” Mr Aldridge said.

“We realised it was a very good intiative and it was something that didn’t need any red tape to be put around it.”

The new ladder will serve a dual role for swimmers and anyone who happens to fall into the water from the shore or on-board a vessel.

Local counsellor Len Roberts believes the quick installation process shows the strength of the Tea Gardens’ community.

“It’s a matter of the three c’s; council, community and the cops working together to fix a need.

“It’s a wonderful win for the community.

“If any of the older population fall in, we’re probably not as good a swimmers as we used to be, so it will be good to be able to get to the steps and get out.”