A re-elected Turnbull Coalition Government will join with the Baird State Government to develop two major new gateways to the Far South Coast of NSW.
The joint commitment to expanding the Port of Eden and redeveloping Merimbula Airport will substantially increase interstate and international tourism and trade, driving regional jobs and growth.
The $44 million Port of Eden expansion will enable the world’s largest cruise ships to dock on the NSW Far South Coast for the first time, providing direct access to thousands of international tourists and an important stopover between Sydney and Melbourne.
The project is expected to create 86 ongoing jobs, including in the tourism, hospitality, aquaculture and stevedoring sectors.
The $5.6 million upgrade of Merimbula Airport will enable larger planes to regularly service the Far South Coast from interstate capitals, while leveraging new international flight routes from Canberra.
These two vital projects are expected to see visitor numbers soar.
They will provide more convenient travel and freight options for local businesses and residents, as well as more reliable health and emergency services.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the expanded port and airport were important elements of his National Economic Plan.
“These vital investments will create jobs, open new markets and expand opportunities on the Far South Coast,” Mr Turnbull said.
Mr Baird said his State Government was committed to delivering services that will unleash the economic potential of regional NSW.
“This upgrade will trigger a range of benefits for locals and tourists and will not only reduce passenger congestion but paves the way for a better visitor experience, and more reliable health and emergency services,” Mr Baird said.
Member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy said the upgrade is crucial to support increased passenger and freight services.
"It is the number one economic development priority of the Bega Shire and complements the previously announced $10m from the Federal Government for the Port of Eden redevelopment".
“The Merimbula Airport upgrade is the number one economic development priority of the Bega Shire and the Port of Eden expansion will be transformative,” said Mr Hendy.
“Together, they will open up enormous new tourism and trade opportunities for the Bega Valley.”
The port expansion will include $29 million of new funding from the State Government as well as earlier commitments of $3 million from the State Government, $2 million from the Bega Council and $10 million from the Federal Government.
The work is expected to be completed by 2018.
Work is expected to commence this year on the upgrade of Merimbula Airport, which comprises $1.2 million from the Federal Government and $4.4 million from the State Government.