Eden residents and visitors will be briefed on plans to make Eden an all-weather port at a community presentation and question and answer session next Friday, November 9.
People will hear from a spokesperson for the Port of Eden Marina Inc (POEM), a non-profit community association, formed eight years ago to develop a safe harbour at Snug Cove, and parliamentary representatives before being asked for a show of support for the project.
POEM’s vision includes a marina, wave attenuator/breakwater pontoon and onshore facilities requiring an estimated $8m in public investment and $6m in private (or a mix of private and public) investment.
The project coincides with efforts to extend the existing rock break wall to better accommodate commercial shipping and cruise liners.
This project is seeking $17m government funding for the two stage proposal.
Port facilities currently include a slipway, chandlery, amenities, seafood processors, ice works, marine discovery centre, eateries and services from Water Police, Maritime, Marine Rescue and Customs.
POEM spokesperson Fritz Drenkhahn said the Australian Government needs to realise the demand from our community and from sea farers in general for safe harbour in Twofold Bay, reputedly the third deepest natural harbour in the world.
He argues that economic stimulation and local jobs would be generated from vessels that currently bypass Eden for more sheltered harbours.
“Politicians are coming to hear us and they need to get the message,” he said.
Mr Drenkhahn will open the meeting with a presentation on the project, which includes a wave attenuator, marina and onshore development, followed by addresses from Dr Mike Kelly Member for Eden Monaro, Andrew Constance Member for Bega, Bill Taylor Mayor of Bega Valley Shire and Dr Peter Hendy Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro, in an order chosen at random.
Speakers will then form a panel and the floor opened for a question and answer session.
To fund the construction of the attenuator/breakwater pontoon, connecting walkway and foreshore, POEM has asked the state and federal governments for $8m.
The marina would cost about $6m and be built in two stages using public or private investment.
“The basic reason we started all this was to make Snug Cove an all-weather port, maintain currently facilities and capture more of the passing trade,” Mr Drenkhahn said.
“It’ll kick start Eden again and Eden is the main beneficiary, but it would benefit the wider region.”
He said sailing and game fishing communities in Eden and interstate have shown their support.
“We currently have 360 yachts a year but for the model we’ve assumed 800 port visits annually, and that is conservative,” he said.
“People can’t stay for two or three weeks at the moment because of the sou’west gales, when they come through they need to go to Edrom or clear out of here.”