Eden Safe Harbour project

Proposed wave attenuator Snug Cove, Eden

The project

The Port of Eden (the port) is an active working port which supports a variety of recreational, commercial and port vessel operations on the far south coast of NSW. On occasion the port is exposed to significant wind and wave conditions which can affect maritime safety in the port and increase the risk of damage to vessels that are moored in Snug Cove or berthed on either the mooring jetty or multi-purpose jetty.

The NSW Government has provided $19 million for the Eden Safe Harbour project, which will provide a safer harbour for local and visiting vessels and improve the protection of existing maritime infrastructure within Snug Cove, Eden.

Providing a safer harbour will enhance Eden’s reputation as a safe boating destination which is anticipated to result in flow on investment in the Eden region in the maritime and tourism sectors.

The project objective would be achieved by improving the wave climate in Snug Cove by the installation of a fixed panel wave attenuator, approximately 366 metres in length, commencing 55 metres from the end of the multipurpose jetty and extending into Snug Cove towards Cattle Bay.

Evaluations of the expressions of interest were completed in April 2018 and were evaluated on the basis of mandatory and project criteria which included experience, capability, design, innovation, work health and safety, environmental management, program, proposed project team and cost.

The Department has commenced Early Contractor Involvement activities with Waterway Constructions for a fixed type of wave attenuator. The focus of these activities will be optimising the alignment of the wave attenuator prior to awarding the design and construction contract in late 2018.

A Review of Environmental Factors (REF) ((PDF 26.4 MB)) has been prepared and was open for public comment until 19 January 2018. A Response to Submissions (RTS) report is being prepared which will consider or address each of the submissions received and will be published on the project website.


The Design and Construct Contract is scheduled for award in late 2018 with construction anticipated to start in second quarter 2019.

The wave attenuator would be owned and operated by the NSW Government and is expected to have a minimum service life of 30 years, based on normal maintenance practices.

Project management

The project is managed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment on behalf of Transport for NSW and is overseen by a cross-agency project steering committee committed to ensuring the delivery of the project meets the needs of the port and maximise the economic opportunities for the region.

Project information

Project background and approval process


In 2014, the NSW Government announced the $10 million Eden Safe Harbour project. Significant works have already been undertaken to date to develop an appropriate attenuator design that meets the project objectives and responds to the various project constraints such as the need to ensure the safe navigation of cruise ships accessing the Breakwater Wharf in Snug Cove. The works have included an options study, geotechnical investigations and wave modelling, ship simulations, value engineering workshop and market sounding.

Concept design work and a REF commenced on floating and fixed attenuator designs but was placed on hold to enable Infrastructure NSW (INSW) to conduct an assurance review of the Eden wave attenuator and Breakwater Wharf extension projects.

Approval process

The project is being assessed under the provisions of Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act1979 (EP&A Act) which involves the preparation of a REF.

The REF has been prepared which includes a review of the following factors:

  • coastal process assessment for both a fixed and floating attenuator
  • existing environment e.g. tides, currents, waves (sea and swell), wind
  • potential impacts during the construction and operation of the attenuator e.g. local changes to waves and currents behaviour, impacts to nearby beaches, shorelines and berthing areas, and impacts on the nearby mussel farm
  • any mitigation measures recommended for the construction and operation phases to manage any impacts.

Under Part 5 of the EP&A Act the Department of Industry is both the proponent and determining authority. The department will examine all matters that may impact the environment if a project work activity is undertaken and if an activity is likely to have a significant effect on the environment or significantly affect any threatened species, populations, ecological communities or their habitats.

If there is the possibility of a significant effect on the environment an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and/or Species Impact Statement (SIS) will need to be prepared and considered before approval may be granted (as outlined in Section 112 of EP&A Act).

Project updates

To keep the community updated and informed the department will provide regular project updates, construction notifications, media releases, fact sheets and posts to the department’s social media channels.

To receive regular updates email safe.harbour@industry.nsw.gov.au

Community liaison group

A community liaison group (CLG) was formed in January 2015. It comprises community representatives from port businesses, maritime user groups, residents surrounding the Port of Eden and the relevant maritime authority, a Bega Valley Shire Council representative, and members of the Department of Industry’s project team. Meetings are held monthly, with any additional or extraordinary meetings held as required.

The purpose of the CLG is to provide a forum for discussion between the project team, community representatives, key stakeholder groups and Bega Valley Shire Council; to keep the community informed about the project; seek community views and feedback on the project; and to provide an opportunity for CLG members to seek further information about the project.

Site investigations

Prior to finalising the design, additional site investigations need to be undertaken to support the project’s engineering requirements. This includes:

  • a geophysical survey to assist in understanding the seabed geology including the depth to rock and strength of rock beneath Snug Cove
  • collecting data on underwater noise levels from piling within Twofold Bay to assess observation and shutdown zones for marine mammals
  • over-water geotechnical boreholes drilled from a jack-up barge.

These works will be undertaken from July to September 2018.