Renewed calls for breakwater funding

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has renewed calls for the Victorian Government to fund rock armouring at Warrnambool breakwater after fears one more big storm could close it permanently to the public.

In Parliament on Thursday, Ms Britnell questioned Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne to outline when the government would provide $8 million for the rock armouring.

Ms Britnell said she had a briefing with Warrnambool City Council officials last week who raised concerns that another big storm could damage the 132-year old structure and make it permanently inaccessible.

In April last year, a storm caused extensive damage to the breakwater with sections closed to the public for the remainder of the year.

While the government finally agreed to fund urgent repairs to make the breakwater safe enough to be reopened, the rock armouring upgrades remain unfunded despite the urgency of the situation.

“The Warrnambool breakwater is a vital community asset and one of the drawcards to the foreshore for locals and tourists,” Ms Britnell said.

“Having it inaccessible to the public permanently would be disastrous.”

Ms Britnell said the breakwater was a Victorian Government-asset which made it responsible for funding the rock armouring.

“It should not be left to the Warrnambool City Council or its ratepayers to foot this bill,” she said.

“I urge the government to fulfil its responsibility and fund the work as a matter of urgency before it is too late.”

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