The Andrews Labor Government has released its Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy, setting the vision for boating investment and infrastructure until 2030.
The strategy is the first-of-its-kind with Better Boating Victoria leading the development in a co-design process with boating stakeholders over the past year.
Guiding Government investment in improving recreational boating, the strategy outlines priorities identified by boaters through extensive consultation, including drop-in sessions at key boating locations. A ministerial roundtable was also created to inform the strategy and included industry leaders.
Among the projects earmarked for funding is more than $1 million in upgrades at Rocklands Reservoir and Lonsdale and Toolondo in the West. There is also $400,000 for a new pontoon at Barrier Landing on the Gippsland Lakes, $250,000 for pontoon upgrades at Ocean Grove, $250,000 to upgrade Lake Buffalo boat ramp in the north-east and the expansion of the Boating Vic camera network to Lake Eppalock.
Accessible boating facilities for people of all abilities have been identified as a priority for future investment across the state, enabling everyone to experience Victoria’s popular recreational boating opportunities.
Boating communities across Port Phillip and Western Port will benefit from a host of upgrades with more than $2 million to be allocated at 14 locations, including in Geelong, Altona, Mornington, Werribee South, Avalon, Cowes, Capel Sound, St Leonards, and Cannons Creek.
The strategy also outlines a $1 million dredging grants program for ramp managers to fund maintenance where sand and sediment accumulation may affect access, an issue common at some coastal marine ramps.
Maintenance needs will be further addressed through a $2 million structural maintenance grants program to support upgrades to pontoons, jetties, ramps, and car parks. While $1 million is being provided to boost navigational safety on our waterways - plans will progress for future upgrades across the state.
Underpinned by the strategy, annual action plans will allocate the yearly investment from the Better Boating Fund. This fund was established in 2021 to put recreational boating registration and licence fees to work. The Fund is reinvesting a record $33 million this financial year into projects and programs to make boating even better.
Better Boating Victoria will manage the fund’s distribution, having already made it free to park and launch at Victorian boat ramps – and is delivering the most significant boat ramp construction program in the state’s history.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne
“The development of this strategy through consultation with boaters ensures our unprecedented investment is funding the right projects in the right places.”
“Boaters told us what their priorities were in their regions, and the strategy has acted on that feedback to make boating even better across Victoria - whether it be cheaper, safer or more accessible boating.”
Reviewed 07 December 2021