A $3.5 million overhaul of boating facilities at Warrnambool’s historic harbour precinct is a step closer with a tender awarded for construction on a boat ramp upgrade project.
These upgrades will improve the recreational boating experience by making the port safer and more accessible and have been developed in conjunction with Warrnambool City Council and Better Boating Victoria (BBV). The project is a critical component of the Andrews Labor Government’s $4.75 million works package at the iconic harbour and breakwater.
The Warrnambool City Council awarded contracts to Bridgewater Marine Pty Ltd, with works on the boat ramp to include resurfacing, constructing new wooden jetties, and improving rock revetments at the ramp.
In addition, $1 million in funding from BBV will allow the council to undertake significant maintenance dredging in Lady Bay, complementing $250,000 provided by the Department of Transport to make repairs to the breakwater and low landing, restoring pedestrian access and commercial use.
The planned dredging will shape the seabed profile in the harbour to redirect waves away from the ramp, improving safety for boaters and making it easier to launch and retrieve vessels.
In late 2021, work to the famous breakwater saw concrete render repaired and capping reinstated, restoring access to the inner section of the parapet walkway. Substantial works to replace an older section of the low landing deck will begin on-site after the peak summer period, while handrail repairs will commence shortly.
The dredging works will be coordinated to take place this year while construction at the boat ramp is underway to minimise disruptions to boaters. Construction is expected to begin in June and take three months to complete.
The Government is already investing more than $33 million into the Better Boating Fund to make recreational boating cheaper and more accessible – a promise made at the 2018 election to ensure all money from licence fees and recreational vessel registration goes towards improving boating infrastructure and boating programs.
This is in addition to the free parking and launching initiative at Victorian boat ramps and the Government’s most significant boat ramp construction program in the state’s history.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“The boat ramp and breakwater at Lady Bay are both critical community assets, and this funding for much-needed boat ramp overhaul, dredging, walkway and low landing repairs will ensure the facilities are safer and easier to use.”
“We know these facilities are a drawcard for visiting anglers and boaters – that is why we are making a significant investment in the south west, supporting the local community and the economy for years to come.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“Few things say Warrnambool like the historic port and breakwater, so it is important these facilities are functional and safe for locals and tourists alike. This is just one of our ongoing investments into the south west.”