Hitting the water at Cape Conran will soon be easier, with the Victorian Government investing in up to $2.2 million worth of upgrades at the West Cape boat ramp.
The development at the ramp on the East Gippsland coast is part of the Victorian Government’s $47.2 million investment to improve recreational boating for all Victorians – making it cheaper, easier and more accessible to enjoy time on the water.
Better Boating Victoria has worked with the local community, traditional owner groups, recreational boaters and other agencies to develop detailed designs for the construction of the boat ramp and jetty upgrades.
The project includes building a steeper and longer ramp, constructing a new apron at the top of the two ramp lanes, extending the jetty to provide more space for boats to be tied up, and reducing sand and kelp accumulation and navigation issues by marking hazardous areas of rock.
The existing retaining wall at the Parks Victoria-managed ramp will be strengthened to prevent boat and trailer damage and protect the site’s cultural heritage.
The ramp is located on the rugged Bass Strait coastline 15 kilometres east of Marlo and is the only direct ocean access point between Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota and is popular among offshore fishers chasing prized species like kingfish and southern bluefin tuna in the deep blue and divers heading out to Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary.
Tenders for the project will be awarded through a competitive process managed by Parks Victoria in the coming months, with construction expected to begin later this year.
An unprecedented increase from the previous $5 million per year investment, the $33 million Better Boating Fund delivers on a promise the Victorian Government made at the 2018 election to ensure all money from the licence fees and recreational vessel registration of Victorian boaters goes to improving boating infrastructure and programs.
The Department of Transport and Better Boating Victoria manage the fund’s distribution, having already made it free to park and launch at Victorian boat ramps, and has embarked on the most significant boat ramp construction program in the state’s history.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“Cape Conran is a key location given its direct ocean access, so upgrading this ramp is vital to ensuring locals and visiting boaters can launch safely into the Bass Strait.”
“With a new ramp and longer jetty and less frequent removal of kelp required, Cape Conran’s West Cape ramp will become a destination for offshore fishers from across the state which is good news for the local businesses that depend on tourism.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett
“Fishing and boating are hugely popular for many locals in Gippsland and the West Cape ramp offers a unique opportunity to explore the growing offshore fishing scene.”
“Improving these facilities is also a win for businesses with tourism to the town, helping bolster the local economy.”
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