Ministers tour Eden wharf, firing 'a rocket' at bureaucratic delays to extension

TOUR: Bundian Way manager Noel Whittem, Mayor Kristy McBain, ministers Andrew Constance and Paul Toole, Chamber of Commerce president Jenny Robb. Picture: Liz Tickner
TOUR: Bundian Way manager Noel Whittem, Mayor Kristy McBain, ministers Andrew Constance and Paul Toole, Chamber of Commerce president Jenny Robb. Picture: Liz Tickner

Bega MP Andrew Constance says he has given Sydney bureaucrats “a rocket”, telling them he wants them to hurry up so work can get underway on Eden’s $44million wharf extension and safe harbour project.

Mr Constance, who is also Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, toured the wharf precinct with his Cabinet colleague, Minister for Lands and Forestry Paul Toole, and other civic and community leaders on Monday.

But the good news is that the dredges will be in Eden’s harbour within two months, removing a massive 231,500 cubic metres of sand from the bottom of Snug Cove.

Mr Constance said that despite a great deal of work occurring behind the scenes he had been frustrated by the time lag between funding of the 110-metre wharf extension and the commencement of the project which will create more than 80 jobs and trigger private investment, including a much anticipated marina.

Mr Toole said the NSW Government was ready to start spending money: “In the next 12 months the NSW Government will be delivering $24million of a promised $32million for the wharf extension.”

Mr Toole said the dredging contract has been finalised and the name of the winning tenderer would be soon announced. Two companies are in the running for the dredging tender, Boskalis Australia and Heron Constructions.

The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

An announcement on whether the $10 million wave attenuator in Snug Cove will be a fixed or floating structure is also still pending.

But Mr Constance indicated his strong preference for a fixed attenuator, saying it was no use building something that would get washed away or damaged in the “first major swell”. 

He also revealed the syndicate behind Sydney to Hobart maxi yacht Wild Oats had recently knocked on his door, pushing the case for Eden’s safe harbour project.

The cruise industry was becoming increasing disenchanted with berthing in Sydney, with new mega liners experiencing problems negotiating west of the Harbour Bridge – something that was hoped would boost visits to regional ports such as Eden.    

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