Dredging funding to keep port open

The Apollo Bay Harbour will get a desperately needed dredging thanks to a $1.3-million boost from the State Government. The works will allow fishers, boaters and tourists to continue to use the harbour. Pictured are Colac Otway Shire Council chief Peter Brown, Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne and mayor Jason Schram at the harbour on Friday morning for the announcement.

Boaters, fishers, and local government are celebrating a whopping catch at Apollo Bay, with the community’s harbour reeling in more than $1 million for critical works.

The Apollo Bay Harbour has hauled in $1.35 million in State Government funding which will pay for desperately needed dredging of the main harbour channel and other improvements.

Victoria’s Ports and Freight Minister Melissa Horne dropped into the Bay on Friday to announce the cash commitment, which will also pay for repairing the slipway winch and detailed designs for fixing the breakwalls.

“These vital upgrades will mean boaters, fishers and tourists can continue using the Apollo Bay Harbour for years to come,” Ms Horne said.

Apollo Bay fishers and harbour staff had reported that boats were getting stuck in the shallow water at the harbour every week, and Colac Otway Shire Council indicated in November that the harbour would need to close in two to three years without the maintenance.

“It got so bad last year that we had some of our larger commercial vessels running aground inside and they were considering leaving the port,” Port of Apollo Bay co-ordinator Simon McBeth said.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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