The Andrews Labor Government along with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners have today officially opened the upgraded Portarlington Pier on Wadawurrung Sea Country.
Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville joined Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation Elders and artists, representatives from Parks Victoria and stakeholders at Portarlington today for a smoking ceremony at the new pier.
The upgraded pier opened in August, with locals and visitors enjoying the safer, more accessible and fit for purpose Portarlington Pier following a $9.6 million Victorian Government investment.
The redeveloped pier showcases a 120 metre Aboriginal artwork incorporated into the pier’s covered walkway, created in collaboration with 105 Traditional Owner artists. Complementing the upgrades to the important asset, hand-drawn illustrations etched into the pier tell stories of place, water and journey using imagery of culturally significant local marine life.
In addition to the covered walkway art and in consultation with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, a collection of large mussel sculptures on the foreshore and act as a protective barrier from the elements.
This work has been funded as part of a $24.4 million investment in the repair and upgrade of piers and jetties across Victoria in 2020, as part of the government’s $2.7 billion Building Works economic stimulus initiative.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne
“We’re proud to have worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Corporation to display this artwork on the new covered walkway and tell their stories of place, water and journey.”
“We’re investing in Victoria’s piers and maritime infrastructure to ensure Victorians can continue to access and enjoy coastal destinations like scenic Portarlington.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“This much-needed upgrade is now complete and delivers Portarlington locals and visitors an improved facility for decades to come.”
Quotes attributable to Manager Cultural Education, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Corrina Eccles
“For tens of thousands of years our Wadawurrung ancestors have cared for this Country.”
“By capturing throughout this journey the stories of place, reflected through water, sand, shells and marine life we hope visitors to Portarlington will be welcomed and know they are on Wadawurrung Country.”
Reviewed 11 October 2022