News of a $10million NSW Government Port of Eden Infrastructure Improvement Program has been well-received by local identities.
Treasurer and Member for Bega Andrew Constance made the announcement as part of his first NSW Budget, early on Tuesday afternoon.
Fritz Drenkhahn (president, Port of Eden Marina group)
Port of Eden Marina (POEM) president Fritz Drenkhahn was ecstatic to hear the news.
“I’m totally ecstatic,” he said on Tuesday afternoon.
“I rang (POEM member) Glenn Brunette to tell him and he just said ’what'?
“It’s come out of the blue, I didn’t expect it, though we had put pressure on Andrew (Constance) to make it an election promise.
“Again, I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
Mr Drenkhahn has been working with his colleagues for nine years to gain support for making Snug Cove a safe harbour.
“We started initially with the wharf extension and the wave attenuator as one project,” he said.
“But then we split.
“It’s been at least nine years since we’ve been trying for this.”
Mr Drenkhahn was positive about the flow of infrastructure projects at Snug Cove, with the breakwater wharf extension project finishing, by which time the wave attenuator should be shovel ready.
“It’s a good day for Eden and a good day for the Bega Shire.
“We’ve still got an Environmental Impact Statement to do.
“There are still a few hoops that we have to jump before we can get to shovel-ready stages, and that will take at least a year.
“I’ll be having a scotch tonight!”
Greg Dunne (director, Eden Slipway Services)
Eden Slipway Services director Greg Dunne said construction of a wave attenuator with a view to a private marina would substantially boost his business.
“Anything that happens down at the wharf is great news for us,” he said.
“There are less boats in the harbour these days with the depleted trawl, as a result of natural attrition and the buy-back.
“A marina would mean more boats in the harbour, which will obviously increase business for us.
“It’s all positive; the sooner it happens, the better.”
Sharon Tapscott (Councillor, Bega Valley Shire Council)
Bega Valley Shire Councillor Sharon Tapscott was delighted at hear the news.
“I’m absolutely delighted that the whole concept has been embraced by the State Government to the point that they have now contributed funding to both stages," she said.
“It will make it one of the most significant ports in Australia and make it so useable.
“It can only be good for Eden and the wider Bega Valley Shire.
“I applaud Andrew (Constance) for it.
“It’s a very visionary commitment that he’s making.
“It’s not a hand out, but putting money into a sustainable, long-term project that will see Eden develop.
“I couldn’t be more delighted.”
Peter Barber (President, Eden Chamber of Commerce)
The Eden Chamber of Commerce has also welcomed the announcement, with president Peter Barber calling the funding “a real shot in the arm for Eden”.
Mr Barber said the Chamber supports POEM’s efforts, and that he believes the three-stage project will create “a real hub of activity” at Snug Cove.
“The Chamber’s point of view has always been that after the funding for the wharf extension, the next thing that should happen is the construction of a wave attenuator,” Mr Barber said.
“The Chamber supports these projects, along with a private marina as stage three.
“I think Snug Cove is going to become a real hub of activity in the near future, and this is going to attract visitors and increase the number of people who want to reside in the Eden district.
“And of course there is the initial construction that will take place and bring jobs to the town, and stimulate the local economy.”
John Steele (unit commander, Marine Rescue Eden)
Marine Rescue Eden Unit Commander John Steele believes a wave attenuator will increase local boating safety, in welcome news for the volunteer-run emergency service.
"What it will mean for us is hopefully less call-outs, because the wave attenuator will offer more protection to the yachts and vessels that are moored in Twofold Bay," John said.
"They will be less likely to get into trouble and need our assistance.
"It’s great news."
Bill Taylor (Mayor, Bega Valley Shire Council)
In Canberra for meetings, Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Bill Taylor was understandably cautious in his reaction to the Budget news.
“We don’t have any detail on the $10million,” he said.
“We’ve made some calls up here (in Canberra) and we understand that it’s coming out of the Transport and Safe Harbours budget.”
Mr Taylor reiterated that the $10million from the Federal Government for an extension to the breakwater wharf is committed.
“Council has always been an advocate for the Snug Cove Masterplan.
“If the State Government is coming on board with a further $10m for the masterplan, then the wave attenuator has, in councils mind, has always been the next stage.
“If that money is being allocated by the State Government for that project, we are very pleased by that announcement.”
Whilst still expressing caution, Mr Taylor gave a general acknowledgment to the people of Eden “in backing the council and proponents of the development.”
“We look forward to getting full details from the Treasurer.”