A $75,000 Victorian Government grant will help fund a business case for the Portland Bay Coastal Infrastructure Plan – an urgent priority as recreational fishing and timber exports boom in the bay.
Announcing the Portland Bay Infrastructure Plan Business Case Project today, Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP said Portland Bay was a key asset for the region and Victoria.
“Portland Bay provides one of Victoria’s four international deep water ports and a significant fishing industry, and is central to the economic development and growth of Glenelg Shire,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Portland Bay Coastal Infrastructure Plan (PBCIP) adopted by Glenelg Shire Council in 2007 is one of the Council’s key strategic priorities, providing a long-term master plan for the deep-water port and foreshore development.
“The Plan will assist Council to address significant servicing issues for the growing recreational and commercial fishing industries that rely on the port. It will also help Council to increase tourism industry opportunities such as recreational fishing, whale watching, festivals, markets and regional recreational areas.
“The PBCIP identifies five precincts for development with the aim of improving Portland’s lifestyle assets and creating sustainable employment opportunities in tourism and commercial fishing.
“Preparation of a business case, engineering design and implementation plan will provide a co-ordinated approach to the implementation of the PBCIP’s key recommendations.”
Ms Tierney said a huge increase in visiting trailer and seaborne recreational fishing boats over the past two years added to the urgency of the Plan’s implementation, as Portland’s foreshore infrastructure struggled to cope with demand.
“Further, with the Blue Gum harvest forecast to begin in the next 12 to 18 months, the Port of Portland is about to significantly increase timber export activity,” Ms Tierney said.
“The expansion of the port to accommodate this activity requires urgent relocation of the remaining commercial fishing fleet who have not been accommodated on the new trawler wharf.”
Business case tasks will include:
o Reviewing PBCIP material, considering new demands and preparing a feasible project
o Costing of proposed capital works;
o Undertaking a socio-economic benefit cost-analysis, a financial assessment and a risk assessment;
o Preparing a budget and financial strategy; and
o Preparing an implementation strategy.
“The PBCIP is an excellent plan which when implemented will deliver to Portland a range of tourism and recreational infrastructure that will greatly improve amenity for visitors and the local community, and also service a range of commercial activities.”
The total cost of the Portland Bay Infrastructure Plan Business Case project is $150,000, with $75,000 funding from the Victorian Government’s Planning for Growth program. Project delivery will be through tenders.
“The Planning for Growth initiative is part of Moving Forward, the Brumby Government’s $502 action plan that is helping make provincial Victoria an even better place to live, work, invest and raise a family,” Ms Tierney said.