Fishers and boaters will benefit from better facilities and improved access at the iconic Cowes boat ramp, with construction on the project to begin within weeks thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny announced the $2.8 million project tender has been awarded to Bridgewater Marine. The project will extend and raise the existing ramp to provide boaters better access at a greater range of tides and manage sand accumulation.
The adjoining jetty will also be extended to create more space for temporarily tied boats and the lower landing raised to improve access to and from vessels.
Better Boating Victoria has overseen the design of the upgrade alongside Bass Coast Shire Council. Construction is expected to begin in May and will take several months to complete.
While the council oversees the works, boaters are encouraged to use the recently redeveloped Rhyll boat ramp to get out on the water. The $4.5 million ramp was completed last year and features a new three-lane concrete ramp, additional parking and fixed and floating pontoon jetties.
The project is funded through the investment of boating licence and registration fees through the Labor Government’s Better Boating Fund and the Government’s $96 million investment to improve fishing, boating, piers and aquaculture in Victoria over the next four years.
Better Boating Victoria is also exploring ways to make boating easier at the nearby Newhaven ramp to further boost boating access to Western Port. The facility near Western Port’s eastern entrance features two lanes, a fixed jetty and 33 sealed car and trailer parks.
Concept designs for the Western Port project will be released later this year following continued consultation with boaters and user groups.
Better Boating Victoria and Bass Coast Shire Council will hold a drop-in event for boaters and the community to learn more about the Cowes boat ramp project and timelines, on Thursday, 4 May from 4-7pm at Cowes Yacht Club.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny
“Boating is a huge part of life on Phillip Island, which is why we’re reinvesting licence and registration fees into projects that make a difference to boaters’ experience out on the water.”
“A redeveloped ramp at Cowes will complement the completed project at Rhyll – further boosting boating capacity on the island and creating another easy spot to launch.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale
“We are investing in boating facilities here on Millowl-Phillip Island and around Western Port because we know how important and valued spending time on the water is for our local and visitor communities.”
“The drop-in session on 4 May is open to everyone and is a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the plans, chat with the project team and see how it will make boating easier and more enjoyable.”
Reviewed 21 April 2023