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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

VIC takes leap with pier blitz

It’s hoped a construction blitz on piers and jetties around the state will create vital new jobs and boost the fishing, aquaculture and tourism industries as the state rebuilds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the state’s growing COVID-19 outbreak, Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne today announced a $24 million investment from the Victorian Government’s Better Piers and Waterside Facilities program.

Headlining the list of improvements is the $10 million redevelopment of Altona Pier, which aims to revitalise the foreshore and upgrade facilities at the popular site.

“We understand how important these piers are to their local communities so it’s vital for us to address the needs of residents and pier users.”

Locals are being invited to help shape the new design, with three options currently being considered:

  • A replacement of the pier with a similar layout and materials;
  • A new T-shaped pier, providing more space for recreational activities such as fishing;
  • A new angled pier head, maintaining proximity to the offshore artificial reefs while also providing shade and seating for water views towards the beach.

The package also includes a $9.6 million upgrade to Portarlington Pier, which will benefit from a new covered walkway for ferry passengers, as well as a new pier head and an accessible low landing.

Ms Horne said the deck will be widened between the shore and the low landing, while sections of the outer arm and berthing area will be reconstructed.

The new Portarlington Pier was completed in 2017 and has been a popular fishing, boating and diving spot.

It’s also home to 20 of the Port Phillip to Docklands ferries.

The Minister said the old Portarlington Pier, which closed in 2018, will be demolished.

“Upgrades to the pier will support local aquaculture fishers, the ferry service and other harbour visitors, as well as creating jobs during construction,” she said.

The Better Piers and Waterside Facilities program also includes safety upgrades and repairs to Middle Brighton Pier, the Queenscliff South Pier lifeboat shed and the demolition of the inner section of the old Flinders Pier.

The loading area of Port Welshpool’s Marginal Wharf will also be rebuilt in a boost for the local fishing industry, and there will be safety upgrades and repairs at Rye Pier, Tooradin Jetty and Portland Bay Trawler Wharf.

“This work will replace old infrastructure with newer and safer facilities so they can be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Ms Horne.

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