The Federal Government has committed more than $26 million for Colac district coastal tourism projects as part of the Geelong City Deal.
The Geelong City Deal is a $150-million agreement between federal, state and local governments signed in January to deliver a series of major projects for the region.
The projects include $12 million to improve the Apollo Bay harbour precinct’s tourism appeal and $5 million to connect Wild Dog Creek to Skenes Creek via a trail, among other commitments.
Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson said the upgrades to the Apollo Bay harbour precinct and the trail to Skenes Creek were “transformational projects which will make a real difference to these communities”.
The upgrades at Apollo Bay will see a boardwalk connect the harbour precinct with the town, upgrades to the precinct’s cafe facilities, improved parking, and the port’s office and workshop relocated.
Apollo Bay Fishermen’s Co-op co-director Markus Nolle said the co-op had been waiting decades “to get some renewed investment in the harbour”.
“The last time we really got a significant investment in Apollo Bay harbour precinct in particular, was when they got the Apollo Bay harbour precinct fishermen’s co-op 70 years ago, and when they got the breakwater in the 1950s,” Mr Nolle said.
He said the commitment would grow Apollo Bay’s tourism industry and also give fishers an increased share of tourism dollars.
“If we can do that and attract more customers, that supports the co-op because it is owned by the fishermen for the fishermen,” Mr Nolle said.
See Wednesday’s Colac Herald for more.