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Plans underway for Port Welshpool jetty

Friday, June 06, 2014
The Victorian Coalition Government has committed $300,000 to commence detailed planning for the redevelopment of the iconic Port Welshpool Long Jetty, Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South Peter Ryan said today.

Visiting Port Welshpool, Mr Ryan said there was very strong community interest in the redevelopment of the Long Jetty and the detailed analysis and planning now underway would progress the project.

The Coalition Government has pledged $3 million towards the redevelopment of Port Welshpool’s Long Jetty, which has fallen into disrepair after it was closed in 2003.

“The Coalition Government, through Regional Development Victoria (RDV), has established a Project Control Group to drive the project, comprising representatives from Gippsland Ports, South Gippsland Shire Council and the Department of Transport,” Mr Ryan said.

“I have asked South Gippsland Shire Council to undertake an Expressions of Interest process in the coming weeks to ensure that three community representatives can also join the group.”

Mr Ryan said the group had been established to guide the redevelopment project and develop rehabilitation options for consideration by the government.

“It is fundamental that a thorough planning process is undertaken, involving a comprehensive structural assessment of the Long Jetty, to inform the government of possible realistic and cost-sensitive rehabilitation options,” Mr Ryan said.

“I have asked Gippsland Ports, through the Project Control group, to complete initial technical and related works to establish the true condition of the Long Jetty. This will involve a review of existing structural assessment advice, hydrographic and general features surveys, heritage advice, a geotechnical report and services assessment.

“This work should be completed by mid-2011 with options to be presented to me for consideration.”

Mr Ryan said the Port Welshpool Long Jetty was an important recreational asset that should be restored to be enjoyed by many generations to come.

LABOR OVERLOOKS LONG JETTY AGAIN

Friday, June 06, 2014
South Gippsland is set to receive more than $1 million from the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIDF) to upgrade Port Albert and Corner Inlets’ ports.

Member for Gippsland South and National leaders Peter Ryan acknowledged the funding but said he was disappointed the Brumby Government had again overlooked calls to fund Long Jetty at Port Welshpool.

“I am bitterly disappointed to see the Long Jetty miss out again,” Mr Ryan said.

“The redevelopment of the pier has wide support from residents at Port Welshpool, Foster, the wider Corner Inlet region and from the business and tourism community.

“Even now there are initiatives being explored to utilise the pier as a marine observatory by building an underwater viewing platform.”

Mr Ryan, who is also the Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development, said the proposal to restore the jetty and develop an underwater viewing platform met Regional Development Victoria’s funding guidelines.

“One of the main aims of RIDF is to provide support to regional Victoria to improve tourism facilities,” Mr Ryan said.

“I simply do not understand why the government is not allocating funding to Long Jetty for that purpose.”

Mr Ryan said government reports accessed under Freedom of Information laws showed the region had lost up to $3 million as a result of the jetty’s closure in 2003.

“Financial assistance is required to repair the pier’s decking at the very least, with possible work required on the structure of the jetty,” Mr Ryan said.

“Restoring the jetty to the standard required to support tourism activities and recreational fishing would bring significant economic benefits to the community.

“It would also provide local employment and help boost tourist numbers at Port Welshpool, Welshpool and towns such as Foster and Toora.

LABOR OVERLOOKS LONG JETTY AGAIN

Friday, June 06, 2014
South Gippsland is set to receive more than $1 million from the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIDF) to upgrade Port Albert and Corner Inlets’ ports.

Member for Gippsland South and National leaders Peter Ryan acknowledged the funding but said he was disappointed the Brumby Government had again overlooked calls to fund Long Jetty at Port Welshpool.

“I am bitterly disappointed to see the Long Jetty miss out again,” Mr Ryan said.

“The redevelopment of the pier has wide support from residents at Port Welshpool, Foster, the wider Corner Inlet region and from the business and tourism community.

“Even now there are initiatives being explored to utilise the pier as a marine observatory by building an underwater viewing platform.”

Mr Ryan, who is also the Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development, said the proposal to restore the jetty and develop an underwater viewing platform met Regional Development Victoria’s funding guidelines.

“One of the main aims of RIDF is to provide support to regional Victoria to improve tourism facilities,” Mr Ryan said.

“I simply do not understand why the government is not allocating funding to Long Jetty for that purpose.”

Mr Ryan said government reports accessed under Freedom of Information laws showed the region had lost up to $3 million as a result of the jetty’s closure in 2003.

“Financial assistance is required to repair the pier’s decking at the very least, with possible work required on the structure of the jetty,” Mr Ryan said.

“Restoring the jetty to the standard required to support tourism activities and recreational fishing would bring significant economic benefits to the community.

“It would also provide local employment and help boost tourist numbers at Port Welshpool, Welshpool and towns such as Foster and Toora.

“As the community further refines the proposal for the underwater viewing platform, we will all look to the government to get behind this exciting venture.”

LONG JETTY FIRE SPARKS NEW CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION

Friday, June 06, 2014
The Brumby Government must make a decision about the future of Port Welshpool’s Long Jetty following the outbreak of a major fire on the pier, Member for Gippsland South and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

Mr Ryan said CFA and DSE crews were still monitoring the scene of the blaze this morning which broke out yesterday afternoon.

“The fire presents an opportunity for the Brumby Government to commit once and for all to restoring the Long Jetty,” Mr Ryan said.

“The government has dithered long enough over the future of the structure. It’s time it committed to funding its restoration.

“The Regional Infrastructure Development Fund, which is under committed and underspent by this government, is a ready source of assistance.”

Mr Ryan said the damage caused by the fire, which burnt about eight of the 140 jetty pylons and some 160 square metres of decking, presented a chance for a government initiative which would be of immense benefit to South Gippsland and Victoria generally.

“A complete investigation of the damage caused by the fire and the general state of the pier must be carried out immediately,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said the value of Long Jetty to the region, in both a historical and economic sense, was immense.
“The government must develop an accurate proposal, incorporating costings, to have the jetty rehabilitated as a tourist facility.

“Not only is that essential in terms of this Gippsland icon, but the refurbished jetty is a key element of the proposed under water viewing project.

“The cost of redeveloping the structure to the point where it can provide access to an underwater marine viewing facility has been estimated at as little as $2.5 million which is small beer when you consider government support for locations such as Sovereign Hill at Ballarat.

“Not only could the Long Jetty be a major source of employment and a tourism drawcard, but its history makes it a significant public asset of immense historical importance.

“We know the funds to restore the jetty are available. All that is lacking is the political will on the part of the Brumby Government to commit them,” Mr Ryan said.