THE Apollo Bay Port will have a new boat trailer parking area next year to improve access for recreational anglers.
Last week, the Colac Otway Shire announced the council had secured funding specifically to seal and upgrade the port’s trailer parking area, which would make a significance improvement to the accessibility for boat owners.
The boat trailer parking area is at the southeast of the port and serves the boat ramp, but is currently unsealed.
Colac Otway infrastructure and leisure services general manager Tony McGann said the shire received a grant of $689,547 earlier this year through the State Boating Safety and Facilities Program to construct a sealed trailer parking facility at the port, and the shire hoped to secure another $138,000 from Transport for Victoria to complete the $827,547 budget for the job.
He said the council had been working with the Apollo Bay Harbour User Group on the design of the trailer parking area and developed three options, which group members were presented with last week to consider and provide feedback.
“Each of the three options covers essentially the same footprint, so it is a matter of where the parking spaces will go for the easiest and safest access for boat users.
“Council plans to call for tenders for the construction of the parking area, which will include sealing and drainage, before Christmas and we plan to have the works completed this financial year.
“This is a great project that will make the port a much better facility for the users and will reduce its impact on the environment.”
Mr McGann said the council’s number-one priority remained to gain the necessary funding to dredge the port and complete other urgent repairs to maintain the working port.
“There is a real urgency to dredge the harbour, evident when the Melas Star scallop boat became stuck as it entered the harbour last month, and Council did ask the State Government to investigate the possibility of redirecting this trailer park funding toward dredging the port,” he said.
“But the re-allocation didn’t meet the requirements of the grant, so we are going ahead with completing the important trailer parking work while continuing our advocacy for the port renewal works.”