The New South Wales Government has approved a $44 million upgrade of the Eden Wharf in the Port of Eden which will enable larger cruise ships to berth along the wharf and increase tourism in the area.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the Port of Eden is vital for the region’s economy and the $44 million upgrade is expected to create 141 jobs, including 55 construction jobs and 86 related jobs once operational.

“The project has been jointly funded by all levels of government, with NSW contributing $32 million, the Commonwealth putting up $10 million and the Bega Valley Shire Council investing $2 million.

“With more than 200,000 cubic metres of material to be removed by a specialist contractor, this job will provide great opportunities for young people. It will require graduate and student engineers, and there will be one apprentice for every four tradesmen.

“Aboriginal participation is a vital part of the project, and the Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council will provide more than $500,000 for cultural awareness training and experience.”

Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, said the approval for the upgrade would finally enable larger cruise ships of up to 325m to berth along the wharf, and allow the port to receive 40-60 cruise ships visits per annum, and substantially increase the 20,000 cruise ship visitors to the region who arrived during the 2016/17 financial year.

“The Port of Eden is equidistant between Sydney and Melbourne, located approximately 40km from the NSW and VIC borders. It is the third deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, making it ideal for large vessels.

“This working port is also a premier location for whale watching, an emerging cruise destination, and home to one of the largest fishing fleets in NSW. It is also home to Snug Cove, a popular refuge for yachts.”

Mr Constance said an additional $10 million has been provided by Transport for NSW for the separate Safe Harbour project, which will provide safer anchorage for local and visiting vessels within Snug Cove in addition to protecting the existing port infrastructure.

The project is expected to be completed in 2019.

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