O’Brien calls for support for Corner Inlet projects

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria, Danny O'Brien has called on the Labor Government to back improvements to boating facilities in Corner Inlet to improve tourism opportunities and create jobs in South Gippsland.

Mr O'Brien said dredging of the channel leading to the Toora boat ramp and the redevelopment of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty would both attract tourists to the region and were important pieces of local infrastructure.

"I recently visited the Toora boat ramp with South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Jeanette Harding, who pointed out the access limitations for boaters caused by silting up of the channel,” Mr O’Brien said.

“At the moment there is only a small window of opportunity around high tide during which fishermen and other boat users can access Corner Inlet because of the channel.

"Dredging of the channel and associated works would allow better access and therefore increase the number of fishermen and other users travelling to Toora and the Prom Coast area. That would be good news for local businesses and tourism operators.

"There is also a safety element because Toora provides quicker access from the water to hospitals in Foster and Leongatha than Port Welshpool."

Mr O'Brien said boat ramp facilities at Port Welshpool were already stretched, particularly on long weekends and other peak periods and making Toora more accessible would alleviate the pressure.

"The cost of dredging is around $750,000 but such an investment would make a significant difference to Toora and surrounds."

Mr O'Brien said Labor also had to maintain the Victorian Government commitment to the upgrade of the Long Jetty at Port Welshpool.

"This is an iconic piece of South Gippsland infrastructure that remains closed because of the state of disrepair. However the previous Coalition Government through Member for Gippsland South, Peter Ryan, has allocated $5 million. That money is there in the Budget so Labor need do nothing further - other than guarantee that it will not raid it for city projects.

"The Shire also has $1 million set aside as we await a possible commitment from the Commonwealth. This saga has dragged on for too long now so it is important that Labor guarantees the funding from the State Government.

"Completing these two projects will be a boon for the Corner Inlet area and I urge the Government to provide the necessary support for them. I will continue to fight for these and other important projects in South Gippsland," Mr O'Brien concluded.


Photo caption: The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Danny O’Brien discusses the Toora boat ramp and access channel with South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Cr Jeanette Harding.