Warrnambool's breakwater has become an "eyesore", according to a member of the city's harbour reference group.
Steve Tippett said he was bitterly disappointed a regular maintenance program had not been put in place to avoid damage caused by a recent storm.
"It's just not pretty and it didn't need to get that bad," Mr Tippett said.
He said the breakwater needed a major revamp several years ago.
"The sad part is they've known about this problem for several years," he said.
Mr Tippett's comments come as Member for South West Coast called for urgent repairs in parliament last week.
She called on Minister for for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne to visit Warrnambool and inspect the breakwater.
Ms Britnell said it was unacceptable parts of the breakwater remained inaccessible to the public more than six months after extensive damage was caused by large swells and storms.
"The Warrnambool breakwater is a Victorian government-owned asset and as such it needs to repair and maintain what is an iconic structure in our region," she said. "It should not be up to the Warrnambool City Council, or its ratepayers, to fund urgent repairs."
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Ms Britnell said tourism would be crucial as the south-west looks to reopen, recover and rebuild from Covid-19, especially over the warmer summer months.
"Our tourism operators, accommodation, hospitality and associated sectors have been hammered over the last couple of years and will be looking for a bumper summer ahead," she said.
"To have parts of the breakwater, which is a huge attraction on Warrnambool's foreshore, closed to visitors and locals over summer is not good enough. The government has to take action on this now. The deterioration of the breakwater has been an issue it has known about for years but we have yet to see any commitment to fix the problem."
Fisherman Neville Dance said the breakwater was an icon and many visitors came to the city to fish off of it. He said it needed urgent repairs to ensure it remained a tourism attraction.
"It's in a fairly fragile state," he said.
A state government spokeswoman said work on sections of the Warrnambool breakwater would begin soon to safely restore access to the important community asset.
"We know this is a major drawcard for locals and visitors alike, and that's why we are investing in these repairs and will work with the local port manager to have this important work completed as soon as possible," the spokeswoman said.
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