'Opportune time' for anticipated delivery of long-sought after attenuator for Snug Cove

Part of the Eden Safe Harbour Project, the $19million contract for the fixed attenuator is expected to be finalised and announced in the coming weeks.
Part of the Eden Safe Harbour Project, the $19million contract for the fixed attenuator is expected to be finalised and announced in the coming weeks.

It's been almost 10 years since local group Port of Eden Marina (POEM) began advocating for a fixed attenuator for Snug Cove, and although it has not been formally announced, it is understood the final negotiations on a contract are underway.

POEM secretary Dr Rob Bain said the group are working on the assumption the tender will go ahead shortly.

In 2012, the government funded POEM to seek an economic study for a marina and the study was completed by International Marina Consultants with a very positive economic outcome.

"There have been quite a lot of things which have held the project back over the years, but hopefully we're all in business now," Dr Bain said.

"We really had to wait until the cruise ship terminal was done and to make sure the attenuator and marina were not going to encroach on or impact that."

With other development in the precinct slowly taking shape, Dr Bain said it is a very opportune time for the attenuator and potential marina projects to progress also.

"With the impacts of COVID, the domestic leisure boat industry is absolutely booming and very much in demand at the present time," he said.

According to Dr Bain, although a firm commitment has never been made, since meetings with Crown Lands as early as 2012, the government have indicated that once the attenuator goes ahead, expressions of interest would be opened to develop a marina.

POEM members stand on the wharf with the site of the expected attenuator behind them.

POEM members stand on the wharf with the site of the expected attenuator behind them.

"Thats what it's about, safe berths for smaller vessels and with the [increasing hazard at the] bar in Merimbula it has become more pressing," he said.

"The government has said they will want some confidence in the development of a marina there.

"We have had one good expression of interest from a very competent international marina developer and we have passed that on to the minister [Andrew Constance] and MIDO (Maritime Infrastructure Delivery Office).

"We will be looking to the government to proceed with the marina development.

"However it will be a fairly time consuming process and it's no good waiting for the attenuator to be installed as the actual building time may be about 12 months, with three months lead time to get work going on the ground."

Dr Bain said without a marina there would still be some economic benefits of the attenuator for the town, but nowhere near as many, as space where vessels could be moored safely would be fairly limited.

"We are looking to people to be able to maintain and work on their boats, exchange crews, and bring boats being ferried around from other parts of the coastline," he said.

"A concept plan developed by international marina consultants covers the required shore development and marina layout, a plan which in all respects meets the requirements.

"It is hoped they would go with that plan, but the final response rests with MIDO.

"We are just a voluntary organisation in Eden, all we can do is put the case forward and get as much good technical information to support the cause," Dr Bain said.

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