With a multitude of building projects in discussion from Cuttagee bridge's historic restoration to Bega Sports Complex building project, and Pambula Sports Pavilion, Jackie and Noel Parry from SisterShip Training are proposing council invest in a Maritime Centre of Excellence to support a host of marine-related industries.
"Eden is the prime place for many different reasons, it's an all-weather entry port, it is one of the ports that overseas boaters travelling across the Pacific check in to, you can't just check into any port coming from overseas," Ms Parry said.
Prior to the development of SisterShip Training, those wanting to be accredited by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (ASMA) often had to travel to Sydney multiple times to participate in the practical elements of the course, especially since there there are no TAFE-based (VET) training programs for the maritime industry on Far South Coast.
Ms Parry smiled when she shared how 12 skippers were about to graduate and qualify, among a few training to become coxswains, including a woman near Tilba who wanted to set up her career as a marine electrician.
A family business in Narooma also asked Ms Parry to send qualified people their way after they complete the course, further evidence to show the critical need for training.
On Thursday, September 28, a new multipurpose facility creating the foundation for a dedicated marine industry site opened at the Port of Bundaberg in Queensland, and the Australian Government provided $5.7million alongside $12.3million from Pacific Marine Base Bundaberg towards the estimated $18million project.
The site was described as revitalising the port's offering and cementing its position as a vital link to the local agricultural industry and wider Queensland economy, which Ms Parry hoped could happen to Eden on the NSW Far South Coast.
"[We want to] create another industry, you know, instead of relying on the woodchip mill and whatever else, Eden needs another industry to [make sure] people don't move away, [we want to] create jobs, but also have a reason for people to stay," Ms Parry said.
The first woman in Australia to grow seaweed in a laboratory, marine scientist Jo Lane, applied for a licence in Eden, diesel mechanics, marine electricians, sail makers, commercial, fishing, and sailing trainers for the maritime industry, all require a hub for their businesses to become fruitful.
"Eden's just prime for it, it's just absolutely perfect, the marina, not just us [with] maritime training but all the other marine related industries that are in the area, all together, make it a really useful purposeful thing, not just for one [but] many elements," Ms Parry said, before her husband chimed in.
"We're just trying to promote that port, because it's the last one that's under-utilised on the east coast, really, sort of still empty," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.