Negotiations around the reallocation of existing funds to carry out even more dredging works in Warrnambool's Lady Bay are progressing, the city council says.
The extra dredging works would "future-proof" the new boat ramp which is under construction and was the focus of a visit by new state government fishing and boating minister Sonya Kilkenny on Wednesday.
"These works are critical to improving safety and ensuring it can continue to be used by boaters well into the future," she said.
Work on the new boat ramp is on track, the council's infrastructure director David Leahy said.
"They're exactly where they are meant to be, their program says they're driving poles today, there we go," he said.
Dredging work is also set to begin towards the end of September, but a cost blowout meant the project had to be scaled back with the $1 million allocated from the state budget only covering just over half the original planned works.
But the council is hoping to reallocate savings made elsewhere to complete the whole job and move more dredging spoils to "future-proof" the new boat ramp.
Mr Leahy said even without the extra dredging, the scheduled works would be sufficient to reduce the wave impact on the boat ramp. But he said negotiations were continuing on the reallocation of funds to finance the extra dredging.
The cost of the boat ramp work came in under the $3.6 million budget, but the surplus - which has been allocated by the government to Warrnambool - would be spent on boat ramp infrastructure.
Mr Leahy said it hoped to use other operational funds, which the council has made some savings on, to fund further dredging if it got approval from the Department of Transport.
He said escalating costs and inflation had impacted the council, rising about four per cent a month at the moment. "Fuel alone knocks our operations around dreadfully, " Mr Leahy said.
"The longer things get held up, the more impact that has."
Ms Kilkenny said the boat ramp was an important part of the historic Warrnambool harbour precinct.
She said the new boat ramp would attract more business which would have spin-offs for local businesses.
"It's such a terrific project and will really make a difference to so many people down here," he said.
Mayor Vicki Jellie said there was a lot going on in the whole foreshore precinct with the Lake Pertobe playground, new South Warrnambool bridge and the boat ramp.
She said work on all those projects would all finish around the same time, ready for the summer tourist season.
"People won't have to drive past Warrnambool to put their boat in," she said.
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