A CASH boost for a popular Warrnambool boat ramp will help fishermen keep their feet dry.
The river access point at the end of Mahoneys Road is periodically submerged when the river mouth closes, sending fisherman and boaters elsewhere.
But a $140,000 injection will improve the ramp and its adjoining small jetty replaced by a floating pontoon.
Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh said the Hopkins River fishing spot had been under-utilised.
“The hope is that it will be classified as a premier river,” Cr Neoh said.
“People know that the river is subject to floods and the boat ramp becomes unstable and it simply becomes closed.”
South West Coast MP Denis Napthine said the state government would kick in $112,000 towards raising the ramp and installing the floating jetties, with the remainder coming from the council.
“Warrnambool is one of Victoria’s most attractive coastal cities, drawing more than 700,000 visitors every year, many of whom are keen boaters and recreational fishers,” Dr Napthine said.
“Mahoneys Road boat ramp provides access to the magnificent Hopkins River for both visiting and local boaters. However, it is subject to flooding when the sea level rises,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Coalition government is committed to helping local communities benefit from the economic benefits derived from recreational boating and fishing so I am pleased to announce this funding to upgrade Mahoneys Road boat ramp.
“The project will involve reconstructing and raising the boat ramp as well as installing new floating jetties to provide boaters with safe access all year round.
“This will also help reduce congestion at other boat ramps in the region.’’