Shell Cove marina’s official new identity – the no-nonsense Shellharbour Marina – will put the city’s name front and centre of a major new tourism attraction, mayor Marianne Saliba says.
“The harbour itself will be called Shell Cove – the name of the suburb – but with the marina, there was a strong view that it should be called Shellharbour,” she said.
Shellharbour councillors voted unanimously for these names at a confidential meeting in February.
Cr Saliba said councillors were keen to avoid “the problems we have with the airport” which is named the Illawarra Regional Airport and uses flight routes with the name Wollongong, despite being in Shellharbour.
“We pay for it, we maintain it and so we wanted to make sure the marina was labelled with our city’s name,” she said.
“This is something we can be proud of and if we gave it some other name, we’d be doing the city of Shellharbour a disservice.”
“Lots of people know Wollongong, they know Kiama because of the blow hole, but we want to put Shellharbour on the map.”
The council has also created a logo and website to drum up interest in the newly named harbour and marina, and will be sorting out the details of a new board and business entity to run the area in the coming months.
Cr Saliba said she would like to see the entity remain under council’s control, so that the profits from the harbour could benefit the city.
“This entity would be responsible for getting somebody like a harbourmaster in, looking after the marina itself, looking after the facilities there for sailors or boaties,” she said.
“We want to make sure from the start that we get this right so the benefits flow to the community.”
Cr Saliba said the boat harbour was the most significant piece of marine infrastructure underway in NSW.
“The Shell Cove development has been a 30-year journey to create an activated and vibrant regional hub that will stimulate tourism and boost the local economy, currently worth $105.8 million,” Cr Saliba said.
“The marina will provide for regional recreational boating facilities and be a catalyst for coastal tourism south of Sydney.
“It will assist in the creation of jobs and will firmly put Shellharbour and the South Coast on the map.”
The inner harbour will be about 30 per cent larger than Sydney’s Darling Harbour.