We’ve heard it all before, how the Port of Eden is on the cusp of big expansion, poised to relieve shipping pressures on log-jammed ports up and down the coast, even a base for super yachts as well as everyday yachties.
But when you hear Rob Pollock OAM, chairman of Regional Development Australia, Far South Coast, say that “it’s an exciting reality” rather than just a wish list, then you pay attention.
Talking with the Magnet last week, Mr Pollock is happy once again for RDA Far South Coast to be a major sponsor of the 2012 Excellence in Eden Business Awards.
He had a wonderful time as one of our inaugural sponsors of the awards.
“The 2010 awards night was fabulous,” Mr Pollock said this week.
“I think the energy and the way people are looking to revitalise and reposition Eden, there are some major opportunities that we would like to see come to fruition with the port and I’ve had meetings with Infrastructure Australia (IA) about that. They're obviously looking seriously at the potential of the Eden port to disperse the bottle necks that currently exist around Geelong, Wollongong or Melbourne ports,” he said.
“Serving offshore gas wells and the potential for provisioning for larger ships – it’s all on the table.
“So anything we can do to bring new economic activity to the south coast is exciting, it’s an exciting reality.
“I think they’re (IA) looking at it fairly seriously. There are real benefits that flow beyond Eden and would lead to an upgrade of infrastructure including Imlay Road and the Princes Highway.
“We’re super keen, and IA, they’re not interested in wish lists, they’re interested in things that grow economic capacity, not just shift it.
“Through RDA’s business plan (port of Eden development) is identified loud and clear as a major proposition through that. And it's being talked about seriously beyond those meetings,” Mr Pollock said.
While he acknowledges that it will take some time for market optimism to return, and that there is a bit more short-term pain before the economy turns up, he is also optimistic about Australia’s levels of savings and what that means for our future.
“Saving levels are the strongest they've been for the last 20 or 30 years.
“So the resources are there but it's going to take time. The water is fairly and squarely where Eden’s competitive advantage lies so it’s a combination of those activities that will take it forward,” he said.
Economics aside, he believes it makes good sense for RDA to sponsor the business awards.
“We are only as good as each other. It’s working together, its helping each other, which will see us come through this (downturn).”
For now, Rob is looking forward to catching up with familiar faces at the August 25 business awards gala presentation dinner.