Long-overdue dredging works in Warrnambool's Lady Bay are set to finally go ahead after a $1 million cash splash from the state government.
The announcement comes a day after the city council awarded the tender for works to begin on upgrades to the boat ramp - a project that came in well under the $3.5 million budget.
Better Boating Victoria is investing the money to allow the council - which manages the harbour on behalf of the government - to undertake significant maintenance dredging.
It is part of a $4.75 million funding boost for the iconic breakwater and harbour area.
As part of the funding package the Department of Transport had chipped in $250,000 to make repairs to the breakwater and lower landing following damage caused by a major storm last year.
Works included concrete render repaired and capping reinstated, restoring access to the inner section of the parapet walkway.
The boat ramp upgrade includes resurfacing, constructing new wooden jetties, and improving rock revetments.
The council is in discussion with Better Boating Victoria about what improvements to use the leftover money on - which could be up to $1.6 million.
A campaign to dredge the bay has been in the works with the former council hoping to secure a long-term contract for regular dredging.
The $1 million investment will allow the bay to be dredged for the first time in 10 years.
Warrnambool mayor Richard Ziegeler said it was fantastic. "It's brilliant news that we'll be able to get started," Cr Ziegeler said.
"It's been a long time coming and we've finally got some money to get things going.
"The foreshore is something we've been blessed with and we finally get to a point where we can actually repair what was broken in the storms, we can get a decent boat ramp and we can recommence dredging of the harbor."
The planned dredging works are expected to shape the seabed profile in the harbour to redirect waves away from the ramp, improving safety for boaters and making it easier to launch and retrieve vessels.
The dredging works will be coordinated to take place this year while construction at the boat ramp is under way to minimise disruptions to boaters.
The boat ramp upgrade is expected to start by June.
Substantial works to replace an older section of the lower landing deck will also begin on-site following the peak summer period, while handrail repairs will also soon get under way.
Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said the facilities were a drawcard for visiting anglers and boaters and that was why the government was making a significant investment.
"The boat ramp and breakwater at Lady Bay are both critical community assets, and this funding for much-needed boat ramp overhaul, dredging, walkway and low landing repairs will ensure the facilities are safer and easier to use," she said.
Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said the funding was part of its ongoing investment into the south-west.
"Few things say Warrnambool like the historic port and breakwater, so it is important these facilities are functional and safe for locals and tourists alike," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.