Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Environment
and Climate Change, Gavin Jennings. Can the minister inform the house of how the
Brumby Labor government is taking action to strengthen the vibrant tourism
industry in Queenscliff, ensuring that it continues to grow for the benefit of
towns and regions surrounding the Bellarine Peninsula?
Mr JENNINGS (Minister for Environment and Climate Change) — I thank Ms Tierney for the opportunity to share with the chamber the good news that surrounds the opening
last week of Queenscliff harbour, where I joined the Premier and the local
member for Bellarine Peninsula, Lisa Neville, the member for Bellarine in the
other place. It was a great community event.
It is important to appreciate the importance of providing safe
harbour at various locations around Port Phillip Bay as hundreds of thousands of
recreational boat users, commercial boating operators and
fishing fleet vessels need to operate out of our port and jetty infrastructure
around the bay. Boating is an extremely popular pastime, and it is important to
local economies that we provide that infrastructure.
The great community event celebrated the delivery of a $38
million investment in a safe harbour at Queenscliff — a $38 million investment
that was stimulated and facilitated by the state of Victoria through its agency,
Parks Victoria. We contributed $5 million of investment and leveraged $33
million of additional private sector investment. I congratulate Queenscliff
Harbour Pty Ltd not only for showing the initiative to underpin this work and
financially back it but also for delivering a financial return.
Mr JENNINGS — I am being invited by the opposition to share
good news, and I can share good news with the opposition at this moment. To
answer Mr David Davis’s question, I can inform the house that the Western
Australian Treasurer has arrived safely in Canberra. That is the good news that
I will share with the chamber.
Beyond that, it is important to understand that in port
infrastructure facilities we had 150 berths previously and now we have closer to
450. There will be more than 400 berths for boating users, the commercial fleet
and the couta boats that operate out of Queenscliff. The many hundreds of boat
users who will be using that facility will be able to use the slipway to have
maritime works undertaken.
Mr JENNINGS — President, as you can tell, this has got the
opposition extremely excited. It is unsurprising; in fact opposition members are
with the program to the extent that they recognise that thousands of boat users
are flocking to this facility and will do so in the future.
More than 200 jobs were created in the construction period, and
there will be more than 90 full-time jobs into the future. The harbour will
underpin a commercial and maritime precinct of the highest quality of
construction, and not only will it support great economic activity and
recreational opportunities in the future but it will also make sure that we do
not have emissions into the bay, that we protect the maritime areas and that
people can find safe harbour in Queenscliff. If the opposition members want to
go down and find safe harbour in Queenscliff, by all means they should head down