AN open cheque book has been offered by a Liberal MP to fix Warrnambool harbour issues if the coalition is returned to government.
Sitting South West Coast member Roma Britnell made the commitment while visiting the harbour on Monday with long-time harbour works proponent Rodney 'Snake' Blake.
The master mariner has called for the harbour to be enclosed with ongoing dredging part of his preferred plan.
Mr Blake said such works would cost about $7 million.
"You would get change out of $8 million," he said.
Mrs Britnell said a coalition government would spend what was required to fix the harbour issues if the Warrnambool City Council did the pre-planning.
Currently the harbour's boat ramp is closed after aluminium strips ripped off during recent heavy seas.
Mr Blake said the first of three parts of the aluminium strip was ripped off months ago.
He said Warrnambool boating enthusiasts were forced to put out at Port Fairy during the weekend.
"The only option long term is to enclose the harbour and dredge it," he said.
Mr Blake said the Apollo Bay enclosed harbour worked well but problems were caused by dumping the sand too close to the facility.
He said Warrnambool's dredged sand needed to be dumped away from the harbour and there had been interest from local builders to use that material as packing sand.
The master mariner said dredging at other ports, including Port Fairy, worked well.
He said the enclosed harbour could include a recreation facility including diving boards.
Mrs Britnell backed the proposal, saying local fishermen and harbour users knew the environment and were acutely aware of the likely environmental impact of works.
Mr Blake said the “10-year talkfest” had to end, a plan had to be finalised and works proceed.
He said thousands of boats were towed passed Warrnambool because it was considered an unsafe boat ramp by recreational fishermen chasing tuna.
Mrs Bitnell said only $3 million was being spent annually from the $27 million collected from fishing and boating licenses.
"Under a coalition government Warrnambool will get what Warrnambool needs," she said.
"The Liberal Party is the only party making that commitment. Similar works have been done in Portland and across the state successfully,” she said.
Mr Blake said Portland had a magnificent harbour facility while Warrnambool harbour was at best rated as "third world".