A series of meetings have been held to try to address the many problems caused by the recent closure of the Eden wharf building following tenants being ordered to vacate at short notice earlier this month.
Members of the Eden Chamber of Commerce, Eden Visitor Information Centre (EVIC), Eden Recovery and Resilience Alliance (ERRA), and Eden Community Access Centre held three meetings to bring tenants, the community, and the Crown Lands department together to search for solutions.
Eden Chamber of Commerce president Peter Whiter said the situation that occurred over the October long weekend can not be allowed to continue.
"Many visitors arrived at the wharf precinct and were dismayed at the lack of facilities. They left the town bewildered and hungry and at the same time our business people had nowhere from which to operate nor earn an income," he said.
Clair Mudaliar, manager of EVIC, said the centre received many complaints about the lack of food services at the wharf over the long weekend.
"This is highly concerning given the busy Christmas period ahead of us, but progress has been made to find temporary solutions," she said.
"At this stage, we can confirm we have obtained a short-term licence to occupy small sections of the Eden wharf area for the purpose of enlisting food trucks and coffee vans to set up and provide food and beverage services for the upcoming summer and Easter trading periods," Ms Mudaliar said.
The group has worked towards a variety of measures including:
- Providing support in any way possible to the wharf building tenants;
- Looking at short term solutions to provide eatery services at the wharf precinct;
- Liaising with existing food service providers in town to cater for increased demand;
- Lobbying to local members and ministers for a permanent solution to the lack of services at the Eden wharf, and for this to be communicated to the community as soon as possible.
ERRA community development officer Eric Wolske said the decision made by the groups to act was due to the complete lack of services at the wharf.
"It's the most visited tourist attraction in the shire and a hub for our community," he said.
"The impression this is giving to our visitors and tourists, and the increased demand this has put on the remaining eateries in town is not something we can ignore."
Mr Whiter said the tenants of the wharf building had always been the group's first priority.
"And with this in mind, they were all offered the opportunity to take up this short term space."
The group anticipated services will be available within the next two weeks and were now inviting food and coffee van vendors to register an expression of interest by contacting Clair Mudaliar: 6496 1953 or email@example.com.