Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy has just announced $10 million in funding for the Eden Port development.
While waiting for shadow minister for employment Senator Eric Abetz to join him on this picture-perfect day, Mr Hendy also raised the spectre of Eden losing the Navy wharf facility which currently ammunitions and de-ammunitions all Navy ships on the east coast.
Mr Hendy confirmed he has been in talks with the Liberal leadership in recent weeks and that this played a significant part in securing the $10 million funding announcement.
“I’ve taken the opportunity over the past few weeks to talk to all the senior players in the leadership and obviously convinced them that this was a project worth proceeding with,” he told The Magnet.
“I have also had a lot of contact with Andrew Constance (Bega MP and NSW Finance minister). He has played an active role in helping us get this commitment today.
“That’s a signal that he and I work very, very well together and will work very, very well for Eden Monaro.
“This is a commitment from the Liberal Party - it’s not related to the Regional Development Australia funding. I don’t know what the policies will be for the Regional Development schemes when we get to the end of this election but I can tell you this is a separate, stand-alone promise,” Mr Hendy said.
“We are absolutely convinced by the economic case for this particular project.”
While announcing the $10 million Eden Port development promise on the one hand, Mr Hendy took a moment to swipe at what he said was a “thought bubble” by the Prime Minister.
“I don’t know if you’ve considered the implications, but the thought bubble from the PM of moving Naval headquarters from Garden Island to Brisbane will potentially have a serious impact on Eden, because the ammunitioning would be under threat.”
A purpose-built Navy wharf currently ammunitions and de-ammunitions all east coast Navy ships on Twofold Bay. This separate facility to the Snug Cove-based breakwater wharf – on which the $10 million would be spent - is also said to be in line to receive imported wind farm components for extensive wind farms on the Monaro.
“You move the (navy) headquarters to Brisbane, you are over 1100 kms from the headquarters to here whereas at the moment, Eden is only about 300kms from Sydney, Hendy said.
“There will be pressure, we think, on Eden retaining the (navy) wharf facility IF the headquarters for the navy are moved to Brisbane.
“I’m asking for a guarantee from Mike Kelly that this will not change the positioning of the wharf and how he explains why it won’t change if it moves in the future.”
Mr Hendy said he had talked with Liberal Party headquarters about the Eden ammunitioning facility and repositioning navy headquarters.
“The Liberal Party doesn’t think there is a case to move the navy headquarters to Brisbane.
“There are real question marks about Brisbane because it isn’t a deep water port.”