It doesn’t take an Einstein to see that Eden’s days of relying on a decimated fishing fleet and a dying Australian timber industry are over. You don’t have to be a Mensa member to get that more election promises, whether from our state or federal politicians, are not worth the breath it takes to utter them.
Eden needs jobs NOW.
As has been the case for over 50 years – not just this parliamentary term - politicians and concerned locals alike have been planning for Eden to transform from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, and as Hollywood tells us, if you build it they will come.
Much of it we don’t even need to build.
Yes, we have the attractions – coastal wilderness, Sapphire Coast, produce a plenty, literary award winners, history by the tome, tale tales and characters on every street corner.
Yes, we could be a tourism mecca.
Yes, we have infrastructure that could, with minor tweaking, provide a foundation for imports and industry pretty well NOW.
What’s stopping it from happening? If everyone agrees it must be done, including the powers that be, why hasn’t it?
Are we really on the agendas that matter, you know, the ones that establish infrastructure planning for the state for the next 20 years, because there was no mention of any town on the Sapphire Coast in the recently released draft 20 year NSW Infrastructure plan.
There was much noise made about Kelly’s round table with Port of Eden stakeholders many full moons ago. What came of it? Help me out if you’ve seen action on the ground as opposed to photo opportunities...
You get a lot of calls from a lot of ‘important’ people in this job, letting you know – from the horses mouth no less and always off the record – what they are sorting out for Eden right NOW, and they will be making an announcement about it real soon…or as close to an election timeframe as they can stretch it.
In the last few weeks alone, I’ve heard that the breakwater wharf extension could happen if only one government of one persuasion would contribute a paltry $2m to the project. I’ve also heard how ridiculous it is that a government of one persuasion should ask another for $2m for a project outside their jurisdiction.
In the last two weeks I’ve seen two presentations with great merit from two completely unaligned and different project teams (one private, one headed up by volunteers) to build two separate marina projects in different places, and two separate wave attenuators, also in different places.
Funding for the private project is said to be available, but the site becomes more derelict by the day and presumably they could have progressed the development at any time in the past 10 years. Possibly they were waiting for the GFC before making their move?
The Snug Cove project needs government support to get up and will no doubt also need private sector commitment, but no government in their right mind could say ‘yes’ to two projects of this nature, surly? So which misses out, or do they both miss out, leaving us with nothing …again.
The multipurpose wharf is ideally situated for industrial expansion and importation. I’m told the Boco Rock windfarm components can be imported into Eden and only a few may need to be freighted from elsewhere. But does Sydney Ports really want this to happen? Many say they don’t…that all eyes are on the Port Kembla prize and not far flung, little Eden.
What’s really going on?
If you care, then you can ask our elected members that question and any others you might hope to get an answer to at a public meeting this Friday at 7pm at the Eden Fishermen’s Club. Whilst the meeting is primarily about the Snug Cove marina and wave attenuator proposal, I expect it will be hard to unravel this one thread from the big ball of knotted twine currently choking us.