The sun shone and Eden looked a treat as Senator Eric Abetz made it seem even sunnier.
He was here with Peter Hendy, Liberal candidate for the September 7 poll, to announce a Liberal commitment to fund $10 million for an extension to the Port of Eden’s breakwater wharf.
That extension would pave the way for cruise ships to berth in the port, providing an economic life buoy for the once-timber and fishing town, now sinking slowly under the weight of no prospects.
Senator Abetz said he expected the $10 million would be a “circuit breaker” to further infrastructure and economic growth, and the community agreed.
Rob Bain from the Port of Eden Marina (POEM) Inc group has championed long and hard to secure a commitment to revitalising this key asset for the region.
He is calling this announcement “…a victory for the community”.
“This is just a great start to redevelop this whole area around us. It’s a fishing port that has gone quiet in recent years and is going to have a whole rebirth with cruise ships, and a bit further down the track a marina and charter boats and you won’t know it in five to ten years’ time,” Mr Bain said.
“It’s very much a victory for the local community through POEM and the local Chamber of Commerce.”
Peter Barber, the Eden Chamber vice president agreed.
“This is where it’s all going to happen… And I believe it’s going to do wonderful things for tourism, which is so important to Eden these days.
“It would be remiss of me if I didn’t really express our profound gratitude to Peter Tegart for his dogged persistence in seeing the project through to this stage,” Mr Barber said.
He finished by cheering “Go Eden!”
Peter Tegart is the outgoing general manager of Bega Valley Shire Council and it is credited with being a major driving force behind the Eden Port development, helping to gain bipartisan support for the project that extends beyond even state and federal political divides.
Supposed to be on leave, he was there to witness the announcement.
“This is tremendous news. We’re delighted to think both candidates in this election have come forward and committed $10 m to this project,” he said.
“It means the earth for Eden. It’s the start of the transformation for Eden into a tourism hub and an opportunity to kick start the cruise industry, the marina industry and hopefully the marine research industry going forward.
“It’s great news and we thank all candidates for their investment."