The Colac Otway Shire is set to purchase a brand new dredging vessel to service the Apollo Bay Harbour thanks to a $1.4 million grant from the Victorian Coalition Government.
Minister for Ports Denis Napthine announced the funding as part of a package worth almost $2.2 million for the Apollo Bay Harbour.
“After visiting Apollo Bay with the member for Polwarth Terry Mulder earlier this year, I was shocked to find out the existing dredge is almost 70 years old,” Dr Napthine said.
“While the old dredge has served the Apollo Bay community well over the years, it has well and truly reached the end of its useful life and the cost of keeping it running can no longer be justified.
“Terry Mulder and I recognised that having a reliable and efficient dredge is imperative for Apollo Bay and will help ensure the future of the local commercial and recreational boating industries.
“We are committed to boating safety in Victoria and we have acted immediately to provide the funding required to purchase this new dredge to enable the Colac Otway Shire to maintain a safe navigable depth at the entrance to the harbour,” Dr Napthine said.
In addition to the $1.4 million for the purchase of a new dredging vessel, the Coalition Government has also allocated $780,000 to the Colac Otway Shire for operational costs and asset maintenance at the Apollo Bay harbour.
“Aside from benefiting the thousands of recreational boaters who travel to Apollo Bay during the tourist season, this funding is absolutely vital to the Apollo Bay fishing industry which is a significant employer in the town and worth $6.5 million to the local economy,” Dr Napthine said.
“This funding will complement the $953,000 I announced in January for the Apollo Bay breakwater project and will ensure that commercial and recreational boating in the area continues to thrive.”
Mr Mulder said the purchase of a new dredging vessel was excellent news.
“This is a great win for the Apollo Bay community and will ensure the safety of harbour users into the future,” Mr Mulder said.
Dredging Today Staff, July 26, 2012; Image: g21.com.au