At the opening of the Eden Whale Festival on Friday, Bega Valley Shire councillor Sharon Tapscott (pictured) summed up the feeling of many in the community.
“After witnessing some challenging years for Eden it is exciting to be speaking at a time when the future looks so increasingly bright, with significant investments set to attract visitors and new residents, while promising to boost our local economy,” Cr Tapscott said.
A bevy of commercial investment, development applications and community projects underpin such optimism.
Last week the marine structures contract for the $44million Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension project was announced, requiring the contractor to extend the wharf and install berthing dolphins to ensure the viability of the port, especially the cruise industry.
Eden recently enjoyed its biggest cruise season, with 12 ships from five cruise lines delivering more than 12,500 passengers into the port between November 2016 and April 2017, generating an estimated $4.5million in direct spending and $1.5million in return visits for the local economy.
The first of 15 ships is set to arrive on November 15 to launch the upcoming season, with 19 ships scheduled to arrive in town the following season.
Meanwhile a new 45-place long day child centre could soon be a reality in Eden after a development application was lodged with council last month,
And the Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club has announced plans for a seniors retirement village, which could see up to 230 dwellings accommodate about 500 residents at its Eden Gardens Country Club.
Fisho’s will also create a youth sport fund to help our most talented junior sport stars realise their dreams through a community grant created from the NSW Government’s Container Deposit Scheme.
Every week community groups are holding events and doing their bit to make Eden a place people love to live and a destination where people see social and economic opportunities.
And while the town – like many across Australia – is not without its problems, there is much to look forward to rather than dread. The community’s pride in its town’s unique history and present offerings could not have been better displayed than with the enthusiasm and unity that was on show during the Eden Whale Festival at the weekend.
The future is bright indeed.