Apollo Bay to Get New Dredger (Australia)
Minister for Ports David Hodgett visited Apollo Bay Harbour today to announce the awarding of contracts totalling more than $3 million to procure a new dredge and workboat for the harbour.
Mr Hodgett said the Port of Apollo Bay is a critical asset for the State and a key economic driver for the region.
“The Port of Apollo Bay supports a thriving tourism industry with over 15,000 visitors during the peak holiday season, generating more than $43 million for the town of Apollo Bay,” Mr Hodgett said.
“Apollo Bay is truly one of the jewels in our coastal crown and a much loved destination for recreational boaters.
“It is also home to a local commercial fishing fleet which generates an annual catch worth $8-$10 million – mostly consisting of abalone and crayfish. The local fishing industry supplies the Melbourne market with flathead, dory and other fish species, and also exports between 40-50 tonnes of crayfish to China each year, contributing to Australia’s $300 million crayfish industry.
“I have the honour of announcing today that a $2.3 million contract has been awarded to Birdon Pty Ltd for design and construction of the new dredge, and $720,000 to Crib Point Engineering Pty Ltd for the design and construction of the supporting work boat.
“The existing dredge, the Gannet, is over 65 years old and while it has served the Apollo Bay community well, it has well and truly reached the end of its useful life.
“The new dredge and workboat are essential for continuing the viability and safety of the Port of Apollo Bay, and will help to ensure commercial and recreational boating in the area continues to thrive.
“It is also critical that the safe harbour facility is supported and maintained, as it provides the only option for vessels between Port Fairy and Port Phillip Bay.
“Our local ports are vital to the State’s economy and liveability and this funding highlights the importance of our local ports which provide an economic benefit to the State of over $557 million annually. I am thrilled that the Victorian Coalition Government is continuing to support the local tourism and fishing industries.
The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure is providing $1.6 million for the dredge and work boat upgrade, with another $1.5 million coming from Colac Otway Shire Council harbour reserve funds.
Mayor Lyn Russell said the dredge and work boat were essential to the everyday workings of the harbour.
“The dredge keeps the harbour entrance free of sand deposits to ensure vessels can safely move in and out of the harbour,” Cr Russell said.
Press Release, June 4, 2013