Speech: Constituency question (Warrnambool breakwater)

My constituency question is for the Minister for Fishing and Boating.

Can the minister outline when sufficient funding will be provided to upgrade the Warrnambool breakwater? Upwards of $8 million is required to construct rock armouring on the breakwater and ensure the future viability of this iconic structure.

During a briefing with Warrnambool City Council last week I was advised that one more storm had the potential to damage the breakwater to such an extent that it could crumble and close permanently.

This comes after part of the 132-year-old structure was closed to the public for months last year, including over the busy summer months, after being damaged by a storm in April.

The Warrnambool breakwater is a vital community asset and one of the drawcards to the foreshore for locals and tourists. Having it inaccessible to the public permanently would be disastrous.

The breakwater is owned by the state government. It should not be left to the Warrnambool council or ratepayers to foot this bill. I urge the government to fulfil its responsibility and fund the work as a matter of urgency before it is too late