Construction of the new wharf building in Port Fairy nears completion

The question on everyone’s lips will soon be answered with the leasee of the new wharf building in Port Fairy to be decided soon. 

Done and dusted: Fairbrother Construction project manager Aaron Finnigan and foreman Tony Sharam outside Port Fairy's new wharf building. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Done and dusted: Fairbrother Construction project manager Aaron Finnigan and foreman Tony Sharam outside Port Fairy's new wharf building. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Construction at the site which overlooks the Moyne River is almost completed and could be operational in a matter of months.

Fairbrother Construction Warrnambool project manager Aaron Finnigan said construction took about 13 months and it was completed three-to-four weeks ahead of schedule.

Mr Finnigan said they were expecting the occupancy permit to be granted this week and tradesmen were completing minor defect work before handing the building over to council.

He said up to 80 tradesmen worked onsite throughout the build.

“They were all local subcontractors as well so that keeps locals employed,” Mr Finnigan said. 

“That was one of Moyne Shire’s stipulations throughout the job. We managed to achieve that.”

Locally sourced cypress timber and Bamstone products are features in the new building. 

“It’s a really good building. It’s very modern but it also ties back into the port and the area that it’s in really well. It doesn’t stand out.”

Mr Finnigan said they began the project in December 2016 just prior to Christmas.

“It was finished on time. The guys really pushed to get it done and the council were really good to deal with.

“(Geelong based firm) Baade Harbour were really good to deal with too.

“Everyone worked really well.” 

He said Fairbrother would enter the project in the Master Builders building and construction awards which will be held in May.

Moyne Shire mayor Mick Wolfe said more would be known about the future of the building and its new operator after this month’s council meeting. 

“The port board have made a decision on the preferred occupant,” Cr Wolfe said. “That goes to the council meeting on February 27 for council to make the actual decision.

“The port board have made a recommendation for the leasee so if council ratify the board’s decision, the successful applicant will be notified.

“Then there’s the process of signing the lease so we’re hoping it will be sooner rather than later.” 

He hoped the chosen leasee would be in the building within the month.

They would then have to hire staff and furnish the venue, he said.

“If they’re keen and eager the sooner the better for them to be in for Easter.

“I don’t think they’ll make it by the folk festival but (it could be open for business) Easter and the up-and-coming season.”

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