THE town of Eden came out to celebrate on 4 August for the opening of a wharf extension that will accommodate cruise ships. The project received funding of $32m from the New South Wales government, $10m from the federal government and $2m from Bega Valley Shire Council.

“With projects like this everybody comes together and makes an incredible contribution along the way,” Member for Bega, Andrew Constance said.

“This has been going on since about 2005, and we are now at this incredible point, this is about new opportunities for everybody.

“It’s incredible to think that people from all over the world are going to be able to dock here.”

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The first cruise ship to use the wharf will be the Pacific Explorer, which is scheduled to arrive with more than 2,000 passengers on 15 September. It will be followed by a further 21 cruise ships during the season.

Bega Valley mayor, Kristy McBain described the occasion as a “miracle”.

“This is the vision of a community who wants to do something spectacular and different. Its the vision of a community who knows it has to change to remain viable, to keep reinventing itself, and take advantage of the natural opportunities that we have around us,” she said.

There are plans for further work including a new passenger welcome centre, marina berths, and an overall port redevelopment. A large-scale residential and retail development is also flagged for vacant land next to Snug Cove.

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