Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy will today promise to fund a $20 million revitalisation of Warrnambool's waterfront during a whistle-stop tour of the region.
The pre-election funding commitment would deliver $12 million to rebuild and relocate the surf life saving clubhouse, and another $8 million to shore up the historic breakwater with much-needed rock armouring.
The $12 million promise to the surf life saving club would cover the entire cost of the project which was first unveiled earlier this year. Mr Guy said the commitment would mean families and tourists would no longer have to settle for sub-standard facilities.
"The century-old Warrnambool breakwater is an iconic attraction on the south-west coast and cheap fixes simply won't cut it," he said. "It's important that people stay safe in and around the water. This commitment from the Liberals and Nationals will deliver exactly that."
Mr Guy will make the announcement during a visit to Warrnambool, his first stop on a two-day tour of the south-west ahead of the November 26 state election.
Member for South-West Coast Roma Britnell said the funding pledge for the surf life saving club would turn a long-held vision into reality.
"Our surf life savers do a wonderful job in keeping our beaches safe and it is only right they have a fit-for-purpose facility into the future," she said.
"Alarmingly, emergency service vehicles have been unable to access the precinct over the summer months due to congestion, raising serious safety concerns. I have been working tirelessly to ensure the club gets the new home base it needs and deserves, and only a Matthew Guy Liberals and Nationals government will get it done."
The surf club facility was built more than half a century ago and the club has been lobbying for an upgrade because the site was no longer suitable to service its 900 members.
The club had applied for $6 million from the Commonwealth's Building Better Regions fund in February, but they were still awaiting a decision.
The state opposition said accessibility to the current site had been a major concern, and the new build would upgrade facilities and surrounding beach footpaths to be fully accessible for all locals and visitors.
The $8 million for the construction of new rock armouring along the breakwater would help future-proof the structure which has in recent years shown signs of serious deterioration and was closed to foot traffic for more than six months following a severe storm that lifted pavement and ripped out safety railing.
"The loss of pedestrian access meant an iconic tourist attraction in Warrnambool sat unused, with cheap patch repairs commissioned by the government not fixing the problem," the opposition said.
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