Christmas comes early for boaters and fishers in Apollo Bay

Christmas comes early for boaters and fishers in Apollo Bay

The Apollo Bay boat ramp has been upgraded just in time for summer, making it safer and easier for boaters and fishers to get out on the water.

Better Boating Victoria CEO Gary Gaffney joined representatives from Colac Otway Shire Council today to unveil the $850,000 upgrade, funded by the Victorian Government and local council.

The upgrade includes extending the pavement to provide improved access for boat trailers, including an improved fish gantry with a new concrete slab approach to the boat ramp and new line markings. A new water service has also been built and connected from the south east corner of the existing wash down slab to improve cleaning facilities for boats. The upgrade will also mean boaters and fishers will have an improved launching and retrieving experience when they enter the water. The boat ramp car park has also been upgraded including re-sealing, new kerb and stormwater drainage including line marking and concrete paving.

Better Boating Victoria CEO Gary Gaffney said “We’ve worked closely with the Colac Otway Shire Council to complete this vital upgrade which will make it safer and easier for people to go boating.”

“The Victorian boating industry creates nearly 18,000 jobs and brings in $4.5 billion to the Victorian economy every year. With vessel registrations growing at 2.5 per cent annually, we want to ensure we continue to provide upgraded boating facilities for locals and holiday makers.”

The Victorian Government has worked with Colac Otway Shire Council and provided $689,547 in funding through the Boating Safety and Facilities Program. It comes as the Victorian Government has committed $47.2 million in the 2019-20 budget to improve boating in Victoria. This includes removing parking and launching fees at public boat ramps in Victoria, upgrading boating facilities at Queenscliff, Point Richards, Hastings, Rhyll, Cowes Jetty and Mordialloc and reviewing how boating infrastructure is managed in Port Phillip and Western Port.

The local port of Apollo Bay and the boat ramp is an important facility located in Victoria’s south-west. The Victorian Government has also recently invested $1.3 million to carry out works including the dredging of the main harbour channel to improve access for boats. The harbour generates $6.5 million annually for the local economy. It also provides safe berthing and mooring for around 40 vessels, including two for tourist charters.

Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram said, “I would like to thank Better Boating Victoria for its significant contribution to the important project through the State Boating Safety and Facilities Program,”

“In peak tuna season there would be up to 40 vehicles a day use the car park and boat ramp.”

“We now have a parking area which is a great improvement for local and visiting boat users and will reduce the impact on the surrounding environment,” Cr Schram added.