Minister for Ports Denis Napthine was joined by Member for Hastings Neale Burgess today to officially open the new Hastings Jetty which will provide safer and improved access to Western Port.
Dr Napthine said the $900,000 project had enabled the iconic jetty to be completely replaced.
"Western Port is the second largest bay in Victoria and a much loved destination for anglers and boaters," Dr Napthine said.
"The Hastings Jetty project has completely revitalised this important community asset which has existed in this location, in various forms, for over 140 years.
"Importantly, the Victorian Coalition Government has delivered on its election promise to rebuild the jetty in its existing form, rather than demolish the jetty and replace it with a concrete pontoon, as was proposed by the previous Labor Government.
"The timber sections of the jetty have been fully replaced and the lower landing has been replaced with floating pontoons which will provide safer access. These improvements are expected to extend the lifespan of the Hasting jetty for at least another 25 years," Dr Napthine said.
Mr Burgess said the Fishermen's Shed had also been refurbished, along with access upgrades for pedestrians and people with disabilities, making the site attractive again for families and small business.
"The previous Labor Government planned to demolish our historic jetty and replace it with two flat concrete floating pontoons. I was proud to join with the local community to fight Labor's short-sighted and destructive plan," Mr Burgess said.
"Prior to the last state election I was pleased to announce that a Coalition Government would scrap Labor's short-sighted and destructive plan and would rebuild the Hastings Jetty in keeping with its historic character and iconic nature.
"Today's official opening by the Minister for Ports is delivery in full on the Coalition's commitment," Mr Burgess said.
The Victorian Government has provided $900,000 toward the project through the Boating Safety and Facilities Program (BFSP), the Department of Primary Industries and Parks Victoria.
Dr Napthine said the Hastings Jetty upgrade was a great example of how the BFSP could benefit local communities.
"The Coalition Government has committed $5 million per year to the BSFP across four years," Dr Napthine said.
"The current round of BSFP applications is currently open and will close this Friday 28 September. I encourage local waterway managers, local councils and community groups to consider lodging funding applications for projects which aim to improve safety outcomes and the accessibility of waterways within their respective regions."