Member for Eden Monaro Peter Hendy has moved quickly to scotch suggestions that his $10m election promise to fund infrastructure upgrades to the Eden Port will have to go back to square one.
In a letter to the Magnet Mr Hendy said:
“I am writing to reassure your readers of the Federal Government’s firm commitment to the Eden Port re-development.
“The $10 million pledge that the Coalition made during the election campaign stands and it does not require separate approvals as to whether or not it will go ahead.
“I have reconfirmed that with the Minister for Infrastructure’s Office since the election,” Mr Hendy states.
That news may disgruntle Labor supporters keen to suggest the Coalition is now reneging on election commitments in the face of a worsening economic situation.
However it has been greeted with smiles from members of the Port of Eden Marina Inc (POEM) group, who have lobbied hard and long to bring the port’s potential to the attention of both state and federal governments, and developers.
Rob Bain from POEM said: “We’ve been assured by Warren Truss’ (Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) office chief of staff, and Peter Hendy has assured us, that the money is there.
“The important thing is it’s no longer part of the old Labor government’s Regional Development fund. It’s moved into a separate basket called election promises.
“They (the Coalition government) are working their way through those.
“Hopefully by the end of the year they will be able to tell us how they are going to handle it,” Mr Bain told the Magnet.
Further development studies are still underway that will underpin the eventual Eden Port development.
These include a cost benefit analysis being undertaken for the NSW Cabinet and headed up by Nigel McKinnon from NSW Trade & Investment.
That work includes input from multiple stakeholders such as Sydney Ports, Crown Lands and Treasury.
A wave simulation study is also being done in Brisbane over November 5 and 6 to determine the channel requirements (width) needed to accommodate cruise ships and also the placement of a wave attenuator needed to make the port safe.
While that work is underway, POEM continues to lobby and talk with anyone who can support Eden’s potential.
“We’re just continuing to work on the project,” Rob Bain said. “We met with Megan Cleary today from NSW Trade & Investment who is very much involved with the NSW government doing the nuts and bolts work on this development.
"She has asked for more information on the flow on benefits the port development would bring, not only to Eden but to the state.
“We are also working on nipping and tucking the original feasibility study.”