The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has said the wharf buildings at Eden are likely to be demolished but say no decision has been made on the longer-term use of the site.
However discussions have started that will allow food vans to operate in the holiday period at the site.
In its October program update DPIE states: "Given the poor condition and threat to public health and safety presented by use of the site, DPIE's short-term focus remains on taking the necessary steps to make the site safe. Actions to be taken include demolition of the building."
The department says it "continues to engage with the tenants to support their efforts to relocate from the site".
All commercial tenants were issued notices to cease trading effective from Sunday, October 11. Tenants were told to remove their business and personal items and to vacate the premises on or before October 30.
"Assistance is being offered to commercial tenants to support them vacating the premises," the DPIE said.
"The government acknowledges how significant this announcement is for tenants in the building and for the Eden community.
"We have reached out to all tenants and have held an initial briefing with them. We will continue to work with the tenants over the coming weeks," the DPIE said.
"Whilst we can't force tenants to engage with us, our focus is on ensuring their health and safety by ensuring they safely vacate the building (including the removal of their business and personal items) and providing assistance to help them move on as best as possible in these circumstances," the DIPE said.
Despite the safety concerns Australian Border Force and NSW Water Police continue to remain in the building although the DPIE maintains their offices were in a section of the building that was in better condition than the remainder of the building.
They are however expected to move out of the building in late 2020, early 2021.
Demolishing the building will be no easy task. There are underground fuel tanks that need to be safely removed if a decision was made to demolish, and DPIE admits that any residual contamination would need to be assessed and remediated in line with current requirements.
There is concern for the upcoming summer season, with community organisations working to bring all parties together. Clair Mudaliar, manager of EVIC, said they had 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.
At the council meeting October 28 council flagged that it looking to relax some of the regulations around outside dining and food vans given situations in both Eden and Merimbula. Hospitality venues have spoken about the issues relating to COVID restrictions which mean that 50 per cent or less dining spaces are available.
"We are committed to working with key stakeholders, including Bega Valley Shire Council and the Eden Chamber of Commerce to explore options and find workable solutions," the DPIE said.