G21 Regional Harbours

Economic Development Pillar

The Need

Our coastline is a prominent asset and plays an important role in driving economic growth in the G21 region; strengthening our tourism appeal and supporting our thriving marine industries.

Throughout the region, increased investment is needed in quality tourism infrastructure; creating destination facilities and indulgent visitor experiences.

Upgraded marine facilities are also required to underpin the growing commercial fishing and aquaculture industries. The lack of adequate amenities is both an economic barrier and a safety issue.

Apollo Bay employs 22.2% of Colac Otway’s tourism jobs (206). The Apollo Bay Harbour redevelopment will provide an attraction that encourages visitors to stay (and spend) in the area longer.

Apollo Bay’s harbour is also home to a local fishing industry fleet of 11, employing 35 people and generating an annual catch of $6.5 million. However, urgent repair and renewal is required to maintain this major contributor to the local economy, as well as improve the capacity of the harbour to stimulate economic growth.

The Portarlington Safe Harbour project provides a much needed enhancement of the existing marine infrastructure at Portarlington.

It supports the important aquaculture industry, adding value to the established and growing mussel industry in Portarlington, and sustaining a growing scallop harvesting sector.

The development of additional recreational boating opportunities also enhances leisure activities on offer, improving longer-term tourism opportunities.

Expansion of the Geelong Waterfront Precinct will provide a safe harbour through wave protection, additional marina berths and improved facilities for water-based events and activities.

The precinct is home to the annual Festival of Sails, which attracts more than 3,000 participants and 110,000 visitors, as well as state, national and world championship boating and yachting events. The Festival of Sails generates in excess of $14 million in economic impact for the region each year.

Redevelopment will allow expansion of the festival and help attract other major events to the waterfront.

This is an Economic Development Pillar Project.

Project champions

Peter Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Colac Otway Shire.
John Nankervis, Chief Executive Officer, Bellarine Bayside Coastal Management.
Phil Clohesy, General Manager, Royal Geelong Yacht Club

Project aims

Apollo Bay Harbour

Apollo Bay must capitalise on its unique location and develop in a way that will set it apart from other towns along the Great Ocean Road, maintaining its distinctive seaside fishing village character with a port as a working harbour.

The harbour needs investment to ensure its ongoing viability as a working harbour and visitor drawcard. Quality tourist infrastructure, community facilities and premium food, wine and indulgence offerings will help reduce the region’s seasonality and extend visitor length of stay (and spend).

Portarlington Safe Harbour

Redevelopment of the Portarlington Safe Harbour precinct has provided a much needed enhancement of existing marine infrastructure at Portarlington.

These upgrades have created local employment and support the valued aquaculture industry by sustaining a growing mussel and scallop harvesting sector.

The development of additional recreational boating opportunities has also enhanced leisure activities and contributes to a strong tourism offering.

Stage 1 infrastructure upgrades, including a new commercial berthing wharf, new rock breakwaters, additional wave protection works, mooring facilities and a ferry pontoon, were completed in December 2017.

Waterside commercial infrastructure and road and pedestrian access improvements to the harbour is now ready for investment.

Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct

A redeveloped Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct will provide the capacity to cater for a large increase in yachts and watercraft visiting and berthing safely in Geelong. It will improve public access to the water, support major events and enhance other recreation, economic and tourism opportunities.

Stage one of the Master Plan (funded) includes a new floating pier that will protect the marina from incoming rough water, a new floating-berth marina with increased mooring capacity, integration of the Victorian Sailing School and its activities with RGYC and an 'Up and Over' walkway with viewing platforms.

Stage two of the Master Plan (unfunded) will include a new clubhouse and upgrades to the public realm within the area, including Fisherman's Basin.

what has been committed

Apollo Bay Harbour

The Federal Government has committed

  • $12 million towards the implementation of the Apollo Bay Harbour Master Precinct Plan through the Geelong City Deal.

The State Government has committed:

  • $1.3 million towards harbour maintenance and renewals.

Portarlington Safe Harbour

The State Government has committed:

  • $12 million to implement Stage 1 of the Portarlington Safe Harbour master plan
  • $3 million for a new 175m long pier aligned alongside the existing pier
  • $550,000 to build a covered walkway from the beachfront to the ferry berths on Portarlington Pier
  • $30,000 for construction of the Portarlington Rotunda in the Town Square
  • $250,000 toward the Town Square redevelopment.

Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct

The State Government has committed:

  • $4.1 million towards the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct redevelopment
  • $3.5 million towards redevelopment of the Victorian Sailing School
  • $50,000, through Tourism Victoria, towards the development of a business case and masterplan for a Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour.

The Federal Government has committed:

  • $2 million towards the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct redevelopment Regional Jobs & Investment Packages program
  • $3.5 million towards the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct redevelopment through the Geelong City Deal.

The City of Greater Geelong has committed $3 million. Royal Geelong Yacht Club has committed $3 million.

What is required

Apollo Bay Harbour

  • $10.3 million to repair and renew port infrastructure
  • $5 million to redevelop and enhance public infrastructure in the Apollo Bay Harbour Precinct
  • $2 million to increase harbour capacity through a marina extension
  • $200,000 to support the EOI/tender and development plan processes.

Portarlington Safe Harbour

  • $7.9 million to complete waterside commercial infrastructure and improve road and pedestrian access to the harbour.

Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct

  • $20.9 million to complete Stage Two of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct.

A commitment to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.