Snug Cove Safe Harbour Marina Project: An Update

The project is nearly back on track after delays caused by an apparent cost blow out and subsequent withdrawal by the company that had been asked to tender for the construction of the attenuator.

Without a wave attenuator, a marina will not be possible in Snug Cove. 

However, POEM has received compelling evidence indicating that the proposed fixed panel wave attenuator that has absorbed so much Government and POEM time and money in recent years can be built within the budget of $19m.

The NSW Minister for Transport and Roads and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance has continued to endorse the safe harbour project and has appointed the Port Authority of NSW as the lead agency to deliver the project.

A competitive design and build tender process is now the vital next step.

Some background

Eden has the best deepwater harbour between Sydney and Melbourne but it is officially described as unsafe for small vessels as it is exposed to south west gales.

Eden is missing out on a major, commercial, year round tourist attraction-a marina.

The demand for marina berths in our region is strong- there is waiting list of 86 for berths in Bermagui and the Batemans Bay is marina set to double.

The current situation in Snug Cove is precarious. A major boat insurer has stopped covering boats on weather exposed moorings, including in Twofold Bay. If this policy is adopted by all insurers and without a safe harbour, Eden could lose its existing fleet of small boats. This would also put pressure on the Twofold Bay Yacht Club.

The design and location for the attenuator has been established through a intensive scientific and consultative process. Affordability is the key issue.

Last year the budget was increased from $10m to $19m but the tender submitted by Waterway Constructions was well over this figure.

Some of the numbers being suggested would not pass a credibility test if compared to the wharf extension project. The wharf extension cost $44m and involved a major dredging exercise and a massive construction program. A relatively straight forward panel breakwater would only involve a fraction of this effort.

The project has never been open to competitive tender. As Waterways had a team and equipment in Eden building the wharf extension and it seemed sensible for them to proceed to build the attenuator. POEM agreed with this-although our consultant argued for a competitive approach at the time.

John Leman of International Marina Consultants has advised POEM from the start of the project in 2012. John is a very experienced and respected expert in the attenuator and marina business in Australia and overseas. In this case his advice is based on the actual costs of attenuators constructed in Victoria and Tasmania over the last 5 years. He has spoken with builders and designers and is confident that the proposed attenuator for the Snug Cove Safe Harbour can be achieved comfortably within the $19m budget.

13 August 2019

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