The Port of Eden will receive a major upgrade to expand its capacity as the only safe deep water port between Sydney and Melbourne, thanks to a $10 million federal grant that forms a major part of the investment.
Bega Valley Shire Council applied for the grant under Round Four of the Regional Development Australia Fund.
Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly, who visited Eden yesterday, Tuesday to make the announcement and celebrate with the community, said the Eden Port Strategy Infrastructure project would expand the port’s capacity to handle large cruise ships, more bulk freight and more supply vessels for the Bass Strait oilfields.
Dr Kelly said the upgrade would be a massive boost to the local economy and the wider region, with cruise ship arrivals expected to increase ten-fold to 50 every year.
The project involves dredging to allow berthing of ships with a draft of up to nine metres, construction of a breakwater wharf platform and panel extension, associated amenities, buoys, circulation arrangements and road upgrades to allow heavy vehicle access.
“This is such exciting news for Eden and the wider region and, personally, hugely rewarding after years of work and lobbying to make this vision a reality,” Dr Kelly said.
“The Port of Eden is a fantastic asset for us, the best deep water port in Australia, and we will finally be taking advantage of its potential.
“Not only will this bring up to 2000 passengers into Eden every week, but I have talked to Deane’s bus lines about running tailored packages throughout the region, showing off our indigenous cultural experiences, historic villages, boutique wine and food, fishing and High Country. Today’s announcement is a win for all of us here in Eden-Monaro.”
As part of the $24.5 million project, a fixed panel wave attenuator will control the waves to protect a 150 metre-wide navigation channel into the port, and a 500-metre pedestrian boardwalk will connect the port with the tourist and community precincts of Snug Cove and Cattle Bay.
Small boat arrivals are expected to grow as recreational sailors will be able to moor safely in Eden.
Dr Kelly said the project would generate 45 new jobs in its construction phase and 151 ongoing jobs on completion.
“In conjunction with other major commercial opportunities that I have negotiated for Eden, such as the import of wind turbine components through the multi-purpose Navy wharf, this will ensure the town has a golden future.
“I would particularly like to thank former Minister Simon Crean, Ministers Anthony Albanese and Catherine King, Bega Valley Shire Council and the Eden community for working so closely with me on this development.”
The Minister for Regional Australia Catherine King congratulated Bega Valley Shire Council on its successful funding proposal.
“The Australian Government recognises the importance of strong, sustainable regional towns and communities and believes that every Australian, no matter where they live should have access to high-quality education, health services and employment opportunities,” Minister King said.