The Victorian Government has announced critical works are now underway at the historic timber wharves in Port Fairy as part of a $192,000 safety upgrade project.
Supporting local jobs and economic growth in the south west fishing town, the investment on behalf of the Victorian Government will see more than 80 timber piles repaired to ensure the safe berthing of commercial and larger vessels.
Originally built in the 1850s, the timber wharves support one of the busiest fishing ports in Victoria, with commercial fishermen using the facilities to unload their catch.
The wharves also provide a place for charter operators to tie-up and board passengers, and for tourists and locals to catch the sunset.
Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne, said Port Fairy is one of Victoria’s most historic port and fishing villages and these safety upgrades will ensure the vibrant maritime culture and heritage can be enjoyed by many for years to come.
“We’re working to ensure a safer future for commercial and recreational vessel operators in this beloved area of the Shipwreck Coast,” Ms Horne said.
This project has been funded through the Victorian Government’s Local Ports Program, with local ports manager the Moyne Shire Council overseeing the project with the works expected to be complete in May 2022.
Other projects funded under the Local Ports Program in the south west include the recently repaired Warrnambool Breakwater. The Victorian Government invested $250,000 in emergency funds to repair the structure after a storm caused significant damage in April 2021.
The works have restored pedestrian access to the breakwater and parapet walkway, with safety hand-railing and concrete capping reinstated.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, said, the wharf at Port Fairy is a hive of activity in the town and these works will ensure the structure’s longevity in the decades ahead.
“With countless commercial businesses operating from the wharf, piling upgrades are vital to protecting worker safety,” Ms Tierney said.
The Victorian Government is also continuing to invest in local ports across the state with further upgrades and maintenance programs such as the $24 million Piers and Jetties Economic Stimulus Package to improve facilities for commercial fishers, boaters, anglers, tourists, and local communities.
Projects funded under the package include upgrades to the Portland Trawler Wharf. Works included a new $1.2 million purpose-built pontoon and walkway, increasing space for ten more vessels to berth, and improving safety at the important commercial fishing spot.