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Boating grants on offer to enhance access and facilities

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Recreational boaters across the state will enjoy improved facilities and greater access to the water, thanks to up to $3 million in grants being made available by the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny and Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant today visited the recently upgraded Ocean Grove boat ramp and the proposed upgrade of St Leonards boat ramp to announce applications are now open for the next round of the Recreational Boating Grants Programs.

The Structural Maintenance Grants and Dredging and Access Grants programs are both funded through reinvesting boaters’ registration and licence fees as part of the Labor Government’s Better Boating Fund.

The grants will be overseen by Better Boating Victoria, which is progressing the state’s biggest ever boat ramp construction program and continuing to ensure launching and parking is free at all public ramps in the state.

Up to $2 million will again be made available for ramp managers to repair or replace pontoons, resurface ramps or upgrade gangways through Structural Maintenance Grants. The maximum grant amount available is $300,000.

Last year $1.7m was awarded to 13 projects from across Victoria including refurbishing the northern pontoon at Ocean Grove, resurfacing the ramp at Lake Fyans, building a new concrete ramp at Rocky Valley Dam near Falls Creek and undertaking repairs to facilities at Rye, Tooradin and Marlo.

Up to $1 million is on offer through the Dredging and Access Grants to allow ramp and waterway managers to plan and undertake dredging works with a maximum grant amount of $150,000.

In 2021-22, nearly $700,000 was awarded to 10 dredging projects throughout Victoria, from the Gippsland Lakes to Lake Fyans in the state’s west. Other projects included dredging at Tootgarook and Half Moon Bay in Port Phillip and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water carrying out dredging at Lake Lonsdale and Lake Fyans.

Final concept plans for upgrades at the popular St Leonards boat ramp on the Bellarine Peninsula have been released following consultation with boaters and the local community. The ramp is a go-to for local and visiting boaters targeting a range of fish including whiting, calamari and gummy shark at the southern end of Port Phillip.

For more information about eligibility or to apply visit betterboating.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny

“We’re re-investing the registration and licencing fees from boaters into projects that upgrade infrastructure and improve access to our waterways.”

“Having high-quality facilities and easy access are vital for recreational boaters and the second year of these grants will help make spending time on the water easier for families across the state.”

Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Alison Marchant

“Boating is a huge part of life here on the Bellarine, particularly during summer when families flock to this beautiful part of the world. Quality facilities make it even more enjoyable.”

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