Wave attenuator construction great news for Eden

The announcement by the Member for Bega, Andrew Constance on 29 April that “construction of the Eden wave wall will start later this year” is excellent news for the community and for local and visiting amateur fishers and sailors, POEM Secretary Dr Rob Bain said today.

Dr Bain said “Mr Constance deserves special thanks as the NSW Government has now comitted $27m to the project. This is $8m more than the original budget of $19m.”

The tender has been awarded to Austral Constructions. Work will start on site in late 2021 and and can be completed in late 2022.

This 366m fixed panel attenuator is a major first step towards what will be a safe small boat harbour based around a marina in Snug Cove.

Now that the tender process for the  attenuator has been completed, consultations can commence with the aim of attracting private investment in the marina and related shore facilities.

Eden will become the only protected small boat port between Sydney and Melbourne with a deep, safe entry.

A Snug Cove marina will be welcomed by interstate ocean travellers and people from the Monaro, Canberra and elsewhere looking to leave their boats safely in the water at the coast.

The marina will boost tourism in Snug Cove and the Sapphire Coast region.

Over time it will create a new industry with new jobs for Eden with boat maintenance, repair and delivery.

Contact: Rob Bain, 0418 622791

2 May 2021

Click here for PDF version of this media release from POEM



Snug Cove Attenuator Getting Closer

POEM Media Release 13 August 2020

POEM welcomes the announcement that the tender process for the Eden Safe Harbour attenuator is expected to commence in November 2020, POEM Secretary Dr Rob Bain said today.

While this project is taking longer that we would have hoped, it will, for many years, be the backbone for major development of recreational boating-yachting, amateur fishing, diving, whale watching, etc with support activities such as repairs, maintenance, plus tourism facilities in the Snug Cove precinct. It will provide the basis for a safe, all weather marina development with new jobs, increased tourism and economic development in Eden and the SE Region.

The specifications and design of the project are essentially the same as the ones that were agreed by POEM and all relevant state government departments in 2018. The $19m budget cap remains but there are two major changes from 2018/19

There will be open competitive tenders instead of a single preferred tenderer, and

The estimated cost of the ongoing maintenance (Whole of Life Costs) will be borne by the State Government rather than be taken from the project budget as it was in 2018/19.

There will also be an opportunity for experienced attenuator builders to submit their own design tender.

These changes should ensure that the project comes in under budget but until the tender process is complete, hopefully, late this year, we cannot be completely confident.

The notice on the NSW Government’s tendering portal gives potential attenuator builders an opportunity to prepare for the formal tenders:

The accompanying Question and Answer document provides substantial information about the project and details about the tendering and assessment process:

Contact Dr Rob Bain, Secretary, POEM 0418 622791

Download media release in PDF format

Petition calling on Andrew Constance to Deliver on the Safe Harbour Project

Snug Cove is a great asset for the future of Eden that the community and boaters cannot afford to lose

POEM* members are calling on the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance to get the process moving for competitive tenders for the wave attenuator for the long stalled Snug Cove Safe Harbour project..

After costing over $3m of taxpayers’ money, over 8 years of countless meetings, and multiple consultancies, the Snug Cove Safe Harbour project has not delivered any benefit for the Eden community or the boating public and appears most unlikely to do so in the future unless the Minister takes action.

There is $19 million allocated for the project in the NSW budget. More than enough according to the attenuator construction experts,

.Many people and organisations have given strong support to the Snug Cove Safe Harbour project over the last decade because it can provide a wide range of jobs, increased tourism, better business in the town and greater overall investment for 365 days every year.

Close to the dangerous Bass Strait, Eden has the only deepwater harbour between Sydney and Tasmania and Melbourne. It is acknowledged by all the experts as the perfect location for a safe harbour and all-weather marina on the NSW South Coast.

After years of studies and negotiations, the key departments and local community agreed in mid-2018 on the alignment and design of an attenuator. This is displayed in a shop window in the middle of Eden and on our website Port of Eden Marina.org.au.

The Government is now claiming that the agreed attenuator is too expensive and is refusing to go to open tender. They are developing a cheaper, radically modified design which will neither provide for a safe harbour nor enable a marina ever to be to be built in Snug Cove. This will be permanent loss to the community looking for economic recovery after the fires and Covid 19.

Andrew Constance, the Minister for Transport, can put a stop to this endless stonewalling and tell the NSW Port Authority to get on with a call for competitive tenders for the agreed design.

Please support this call by signing this petition

*Port of Eden Marina Inc (POEM) is a non profit Eden community association formed in 2010 to promote jobs and investment in Eden through the development of a safe harbour and a marina in Snug Cove.

If you wish to contact the Minister::

Andrew Constance, Member for Bega. Bega Electorate Office: 122 Carp St Bega NSW 2550
Phone: (02) 6492 2056 Email: ac1@constance.minister.nsw.gov.au

Comments by Petition signatories

“Because Eden deserves a fair deal- not a short-change option.”

“This will benefit the community and create a safe harbour for all.”

“Nowhere in Australia screams MARINA more than Eden.”

“I run a business at the wharf precinct. I watch yachties shelter in Eden during storms. They go back and forward into town with stores, eat at my restaurant, drink at the Hotel and have dinner in town. A good size wave attenuator would attract investors. A marina large enough for yachts or so, would be large enough for developers to invest in Eden. This would mean all year round jobs for Eden. It’s imperative that the project is put out to tender.”

“For those people who have ever professionally worked at sea, or those that venture out to sea for recreation, for sailing or fishing etc., a SAFE harbour is a must for the safety of their lives and the vessels that they venture upon. Eden has been lacking this for generations. How much longer will this continue?”

“Eden and the East Coast boating community desperately needs this. Eden has been long forgotten too often by Macquarie St in the past. This has been a shovel ready project, already fully funded for 2 yrs now. How many bush fire recovery projects have just been sitting there ready to go for 2 yrs! So get on with it, and get it out to public tender.”

“Desperately needed infrastructure, economic and employment boost for the region. I believe the Government has a duty of care to ensure the harbour Is safe for all commercial and recreational vessels.”

“This is really needed”

“Safety for sailors!!!!!”

“We are sailors and require a safe deep-water harbour we support the full original agreed design”

“Well overdue!”

“The danger of not having a safe harbour along this stretch of the coast will cost more lives if not dealt with”

“This will provide a safe harbour for boats going from SA up the east coast, a place to stop, provision and visit.”

“I am a sailor and once built will bring our yacht to Eden. Please look towards the future.”

“Safe Harbours save lives, promote sports and create jobs”

“Yachting facilities on east coast need upgrading. This is one great opportunity to build a facility that will create jobs and lift safety for craft.”

“Needed as a safe refuge for local and travelling vessels”

“It’s desperately needed, Australia is a disgrace when it comes to lack of safe ports for transiting vessels”

“It’s a must we need”

“This in my opinion would be a very beneficial project with an absolute positive outcome.”

“A safe port is essential in this part of the coast.”

“Eden needs safe harbour for recreational vessels as a job-creating tourism investment helping bushfire recovery””

“It makes bloody sense!”

“This is an essential service for the boating community”

“Eden is an important port being the first Safe haven for vessels coming from Victoria or Tasmania or the last port of call for vessels heading in that direction. It would be a great asset to the town as well as the marine community to have Much improved marine facilities as proposed.”

“It is essential to have a safe harbour in Eden. Many reasons apart from safety!”

“Tourism is another.”

“We need a safe marina here”

“It’s a no brainer for safety on the Australian East Coast”

“I’m a regular visitor to the south coast. It desperately needs a safe harbour and the benefit of the tourism that the people that use it will bring to the community of Eden and the surrounding area. Deliver on the promise and spend the money that has been allocated for this project now!”

“I’ve sought shelter in Eden returning from Hobart after the race. It is an important weigh point for those travelling up or down the coast and, as the name implies, a delightful haven and tourist spot worthy of this support.”

“I’m at a loss to understand why this safety issue has not been addressed. The amount of damage sustained over the years to so many ships, fix it now, absolutely disgusting to say the least, people are on these vessels a lot of the time too, how long until someone is seriously injured (again) or even killed.”

“A SAFE harbour in Eden will save lives. I’ve just spent 2 months in lock down being told by federal, state and local governments that every life saved is precious. That lock-down has cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Maybe sailors, fisherman and boaties lives aren’t as valuable as the general population. And this project creates jobs and on-going revenue streams. Is the NSW government still afraid of developing Eden? Surely they’re over it after 120 years.”

“Safe harbours save lives. This safe harbour is needed very much.”

“As a sailor that travels the East coast regularly, Eden is a very important harbour and safe haven.”

“I’m a sailor and now insurance won’t cover Eden!!”

“I have been to Snug harbour many times and in the wrong weather it is so dangerous for both boats and people.”

“It’s vital this project proceeds”

“Eden has great tourism potential but requires investment in infrastructure.”

“Had a really bad experience at the skinny wharf at Eden New I”

“We need the Port of Eden to be functional for so many reasons, industrialists, job, tourism.”

“This project would greatly benefit the Eden township it would be a great asset for the whole community and complement this great natural harbor strategically located for this growing sport if recreational boating and fishing. This marina would be a step in the right direction for years to come…”

“Jumping off point to Bass Straight. Major boost for tourism and economy by providing an important safe harbour for mariners”

“I have often waited in Eden for a weather window to cross Bass Strait. This involves having to do the ‘Eden shuffle’, there is no safe place in snug cove in southerly to westerly weather and small boats must navigate to anchor in behind the new navy wharf or off Boyd Town. Having done over 20 Bass Strait crossings this place is not a safe all-weather haven especially too when east coast low systems develop.”

“The SE Coast needs this safe harbour”

“Whilst legally tied to the jetty in December last year, we were side-swiped by a fishing trawler and despite no injuries, our boat sustained damage. Eden is a gateway to many destinations and yet moorings are limited and facilities scarce. I cannot fathom why such an important seafarers stop does not already have a marina?”

“I travel the east coast of Australia twice a year and have been anchored in Eden for up to 15 weeks waiting for a wx window to cross the bass Strait. A safe Harbour would save lives, create jobs and enhance the future of Eden after the devastating fires and Covid 19 lock-down”

“I really hope that this petition will be signed by everyone who sees it. It’s time that common sense prevailed. The people of Eden know what the town needs.”

“The project will provide a safe harbour, improve the tourism potential of Eden especially if a marina is constructed and provide employment both during construction and potentially after.”

“Boating is an important part of our economy and it needs support right now, more than ever.”

“The safe harbour needs completion. I have been fishing Eden for more than 40 years and this would be a great asset for the south coast”

“This is important infrastructure and will create sustainable employment in a region that really needs it.”

“A great Natural Harbour that provides essential Storm Protection for Shipping crossing Bass Straight.”

“I agree wholeheartedly”

“I am a cruiser myself both in Australia and overseas, Lake Michigan has a safe Harbour system, every 50 miles, there is somewhere to shelter.”

“I do not think the State Government has the guts to stand up to those who oppose the Safe Harbour Project.”

“We have sheltered at Eden 5 times during trips from Victoria heading north. Twice we have had to leave the wharf area and move to the anchorage near the wood chip mill. . Once we had a huge battle as another yacht had rafted up to us and they were not aboard. Last year we tied up to the huge pink mooring buoy but we were forced to let go as we thought it would smash our hull., instead we anchored on a lee shore and sat anchor watch all night”

“We need the safe harbour, it’s the perfect position”

“Eden is a great location for cruising yachts”

“Eden is the last safe port before pushing off across the Tasman… we need better options while waiting for weather windows!”

“This is important to the regional community.”

“Eden will benefit”

“This project will create jobs and potentially save lives. It will be a great asset for the area for future generations. you can’t cut costs where lives could be at stake.”

“Seems like good sense, an employment opportunity and a boating safety consideration”

“There is a critical need for a safe harbour in Eden … it would also provide significant economic benefits”

“This project will be a win for the following: 1. The local community because a safe harbour will attract cruising sailors for extended stays: 2. The local fishing fleet: 3. Yachts and power boats travelling along the NSW coast seeking shelter in adverse weather. 4. First responders/rescue vessels (Police and Roads & Maritime).”

“I am a cruising sailor, and safe harbours are few and far between on the NSW and Victoria coast.”

“I regularly call it to Eden on my way North from Tasmania by yacht …Well regarded as a safe port for us Yachties….”

“This is an important stopover for safety and recreational boating aspects”

“Safe harbour is an absolute must for sailors on this part of the coast.”

“It’s needed for safety”

“Anyone that has travelled up and the east coast of Australia by sea understands how important it is to have a safe haven in Eden and have easy access to supplies.”

“I visit Eden regularly by sea and believe a marina would improve the economy as well as provide a safe haven”

“A safe harbour is needed”

“Eden is such a key haven, not having a safe harbour there endangers vessels seeking shelter or forces them to continue on in foul weather.”

“Used the port many times, fuel, hot meal, supplies.”

“Eden needs to made into an all-weather refuge.”

“If nothing else, the issue should be brought back into life and all options need being considered. The once ‘agreed upon’ option might not be the most suitable one after all.”

“Eden safe harbour is needed!”

“I think a safe harbour would be a good investment for Eden. Allowing development of the marina and other associated small businesses that could generate some desperately-needed local employment.”

“I care about the future of the far south coast”

“It’s blindingly obvious that the current situation in Eden is disastrous and in need of rectifying.”

“I visit Eden by sea, and it is such a vital port on the south east coast of Australia. The benefits to local community and the boating public in general would far outweigh the cost. Do it!”

“I am signing because as an off-shore cruiser, I realise we need a safe harbour at Eden. I would use it, and many others will, too, and life will be a bit safer as a result.”

“There is an urgent need for boats to shelter safely in Snug Cove. Once a Marina is built, much needed jobs will be created. This will also contribute greatly to the local economy, which has suffered greatly in recent times.”

“All sailors and marine operators need safe ports. Eden is a wonderful place and needs appropriate infrastructure.”

“Eden is a unique and natural asset that should be maintained as part of our lifestyle and culture. Respect and maintain this harbour so we can be proud of Australia’s beauty.”

“As a sailor travelling the Australian coast, the problem of a safe anchorage in south coast area is well known, often forcing exhausted sailors to remain at sea in dangerous conditions.”

“As a sailor I can see the common sense in having the breakwater making the harbour safer”

Open Letter from Port of Eden Marina Inc (POEM) to the Eden and South East Community and the Australian Boating Public

An Independent Inquiry needed for Safe Harbour Project

“Snug Cove is a great asset for the future Eden that the community and boaters cannot afford to lose”

The POEM Committee is calling on the Member for Bega and Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance to establish an independent inquiry into the long stalled Snug Cove Safe Harbour project or call for competitive tenders for the agreed attenuator

The reason is simple. After costing over $3m of taxpayers’ money, over 8 years of countless meetings, multiple consultancies and considerable personal expense, the Snug Cove Safe Harbour project has not delivered any benefit for the Eden community or the boating public and appears most unlikely to do so in the future.

Since 2010 POEM has been consistently lobbying for a wave attenuator that will create a safe harbour and provide the basis for a commercial marina in Snug Cove

Many people and organisations have given strong support to the Snug Cove Safe Harbour project over the last decade because it can provide a wide range of jobs, increased tourism, better business in the town and greater overall investment for 365 days every year.

Close to the dangerous Bass Strait, Eden has the only deepwater harbour between Sydney and Tasmania and Melbourne. It is acknowledged by all the experts as the perfect location for an all weather marina on the NSW South Coast.

After years of studies and negotiations, POEM and the key departments agreed in mid 2018 on the alignment and design of the attenuator which is displayed in a shop window in the middle of Eden

The Government did not go out for competitive tenders but asked the company that built wharf extension to quote for this project. The company was in financial difficulties. It submitted a ridiculously high price and promptly went into liquidation.

The Government is now claiming that the agreed attenuator is too expensive. They are developing a cheaper, radically modified design which, we believe, will neither provide for a safe harbour nor enable a marina ever to be to be built in Snug Cove. This will be permanent loss to the community looking for economic recovery.

One of the most senior marina designers in Australia has advised POEM, that the agreed attenuator can easily be built within the project budget of $19m. His advice is based on the actual verified cost of a recently built and similar attenuator in Tasmania. The Government is refusing to even consider this advice or obtain competitive tenders.

To put it mildly, there are many unanswered questions about this whole project. An independent inquiry into this potential major setback for the community seems the only way forward if competitive tenders are not held.

To support the Snug Cove Safe Harbour project email Andrew Constance at bega@parliament.nsw.gov.au

POEM is a non profit community association formed in 2010 to promote jobs, investment and tourism in Eden through the development of a Safe Harbour with scope for a commercial marina.

POEM Committee:

Robin Arthur, President, Jon Gaul, Public Officer, Rob Bain, Secretary, Peter Smith, Ray Tynan, Bryan Hunter, Kent Farrell, Tony Lewis, Glenn Brunette, John Balfour, Peter Horne, Stephen Taylor


Robin Arthur

Dr Rob Bain

Advice from TAS MARINE CONSTRUCTION that attenuator can be built within budget PDF 34K
April 2019 Environmental Impact Statement PDF 7Mb

Eden Safe Harbour Marina Project Delayed

The construction schedule for the Safe Harbour project in Snug Cove is now well behind where it was this time last year and is clearly delayed, Secretary of Port of Eden Marina Inc (POEM), Dr Robert Bain said today.

This is despite assurances from the Member for Bega and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance that the project will go ahead.

The problem appears to be the cost of the wave attenuator (panel breakwater) and the inexplicable determination of the Government departments not to go out for competitive tenders.

After years of studies and several unsuccessful attempts, a location and design for the attenuator that would maximise the number of safe marina berths was agreed by the Government and POEM in mid 2018.

This has been on display in the window of the shop next to the Post Office in the main Street of Eden for about a year.

This design would provide a safe deepwater harbour for about 170 vessels and give the greatest possible number of jobs and maximum economic benefit for the Eden community from the marina.

The detailed design was completed in late 2018 (at a cost of $3 million) but, rather than go to competitive tender the project was given to Waterways Construction. Waterways put in a very high bid and then decided to close their Eden operation. Since then the project appears stalled.

The budget for the project is $19 million. The cost submitted by Waterways was, we believe, about $23 million or $64,000 per linear metre. The going cost based on similar attenuators built in recent years is around $20,000 per metre. This would mean about $8 million for the Snug Cove attenuator, well within the budget.

Why a relatively straight forward panel breakwater attenuator would cost treble the cost elsewhere and around half as much as the massive wharf and dredging project for the cruise ships remains a mystery.

A competitive tender process for the agreed attenuator is the obvious and risk free solution.

POEM is a non profit, Eden community association that has been working on this project for about 8 years.

Our members believe that Eden needs to capitalise on the great asset which is Snug Cove and future proof the attenuator to the maximum extent possible.

Contact: Robert Bain 0418622791

POEM Media Release 11 December 2019

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. > More