Government needs to step up on breakwater repairs

The Victorian Government needs to step up and commit funding to fix the Warrnambool breakwater.

In Victorian Parliament on Thursday, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell called on Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne to visit Warrnambool, inspect damage to the breakwater and commit funding needed for urgent repairs.

Ms Britnell said it was unacceptable parts of the breakwater remained inaccessible to the public more than six months after extensive damage was caused by large swells and storms.

“The Warrnambool breakwater is a Victorian Government-owned asset and as such it needs to repair and maintain what is an iconic structure in our region,” she said.

“It should not be up to the Warrnambool City Council, or its ratepayers, to fund urgent repairs.”

Ms Britnell said tourism would be crucial as South West Coast looks to reopen, recover and rebuild from Covid-19, especially over the warmer summer months.

“Our tourism operators, accommodation, hospitality and associated sectors have been hammered over the last couple of years and will be looking for a bumper summer ahead,” she said.

“To have parts of the breakwater, which is a huge attraction on Warrnambool’s foreshore, closed to visitors and locals over summer is not good enough.

“The government has to take action on this now. The deterioration of the breakwater has been an issue it has known about for years but we have yet to see any commitment to fix the problem.

“It’s their asset, so it’s incumbent on Minister Horne to fast-track the urgent repairs and commit to the broader upgrades that are needed.

“The people of South West Coast and visitors to our region deserve nothing less.”

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