WARRNAMBOOL BOAT RAMP RECIEVES $420,000 FOR UPGRADES
Warrnambool's notorious boat ramp, voted the worst in the state, will benefit from a $420,000 state government cash injection.
Planning and design work to upgrade the boat launching facility at Lady Bay will begin after Minister for Fishing and Boating Jaala Pulford announced the funding on Wednesday.
The funding will be used by Warrnambool City Council to prepare a business case, detailed designs, planning and approvals for an upgraded ramp.
Ms Pulford said Warrnambool was one of the south-west's gateways to fishing and boating.
"Investing in safer boating facilities is a win for all water users and local businesses that stand to benefit from increased visitation," she said.
Warrnambool City Council's Scott Cavanagh welcomed the cash boost saying it was a great start.
"The money is to do design documentation work for safer launching facilities, the breakwater and future options of what a spur breakwater might look like," he said.
"We've certainly been working with the government for a good 12 to 18 month period."
Mr Cavanagh said that once the planning and design works were complete, the council would seek cash for construction.
"The documentation is effectively a tender package," he said.
"It will take about nine to 12 months and then permits may be required. They can take a considerable amount of time.
"We are really grateful for the state government to recognise the work that is required down there and to start work.
"In 12 months' time we will be looking for the money to start construction."
In March, the Warrnambool boat ramp was named Victoria's worst in an RACV survey and the state government said the funding would play a key role in assisting with the development of the much-needed upgrade.
The government has established the Better Boating Fund which will use funds from boat registration and marine licences for boating facility upgrades and safety initiatives.
It has already provided funding through the Boating Safety and Facilities Program for a new navigational aid and light on the end of the Warrnambool harbour breakwater.
The funding announcement comes after South West Coast MP Roma Britnell slammed the state government on Monday, asking why no money had been forthcoming.