Dr Peter Hendy, federal member for Eden-Monaro, has confirmed that the $15million Port of Eden project to extend the breakwater wharf is “on track”.
Construction of the extension, designed to berth cruise ships and other large vessels, is still due to commence by the end of 2014, with work to be complete in time for the 2015-16 cruising summer season.
Dr Hendy’s confirmation follows a private meeting with Port of Eden Marina (POEM) members Rob Bain, Glenn Brunette, Jon Gaul and Fritz Drenkhahn on Monday afternoon in Bega.
“I had a private meeting with the POEM group yesterday,” Dr Hendy said on Tuesday.
“What I said to them was that the $10million project announced by the Coalition was proceeding as was promised.”
Dr Hendy was unable to provide further detail on when the $10million would be given to the NSW State Government, who will project manage the infrastructure build, kicking in a further $3million in funding.
“I am not monitoring it day to day, because the project detail is being worked on by the Federal Department of Infrastructure.
“The latest I’ve heard (is) that things are on track, that negotiations are going smoothly.”
Bega Valley Shire Council has also contributed $2million to the project, with the total project budget currently sitting at $15million.
POEM president Fritz Drenkhahn said the group met with Dr Hendy to seek assurance that the $10million commonwealth contribution was still coming, and to ask if he would support POEM in asking the NSW State Government for a further $1.5million to fund an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for a wave attenuator in Snug Cove.
Mr Drenkhahn says they also suggested merging the two projects – the wharf extension and the wave attenuator.
“We explained to him how we would like to merge the two projects as one and tackle them together,” Fritz Drenkhahn said.
“We also asked him to help us lobby the state government to get $1.5million from this (state) Budget to get shovel ready for the wave attenuator.
“It would take 12 to 14 months to get an EIS done and cost around $1million.”
Mr Drenkhahn said POEM had worked with a marina consultant to cost building of a wave attenuator.
“It’s estimated to be around $5million all up to build. It would be state infrastructure and that’s where the money would come from,” he said.
Peter Hendy said he was in constant contact with Andrew Constance.
“Andrew is obviously the more relevant person because it’s a State Government project,” Dr Hendy said.
“Andrew and I are working together to make sure we get the best outcome.”
A cost benefit analysis of the proposed wave attenuator is being undertaken by the State Government.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance said that work was still underway.
"We need to finalise a cost-benefit analysis on the study looking at the benefits of a wave attenuator,” he said.
"I think there is scope for it once we finalise the wharf extension, but there is obviously still some preliminary work that needs to be done."
Calls for a Snug Cove marina are also gathering traction.