The long-awaited Oliver’s Hill Safe Boat Refuge is one step closer, with Federal Member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther MP, today announcing that Stage One of the $500,000 project has been signed off by the Federal Minister.
Mr Crewther joined Frankston City Council Mayor Cr Colin Hampton, CEO Dennis Hovenden, and representatives from Frankston Coast Guard, Water Police, That’s The Thing About Fishing, Frankston Surf Life Saving Club and stakeholders to announce the commencement of Stage One of the Safe Boat Refuge project.
Frankston City Council’s scope for the Safe Boat Refuge will include a breakwater with access on top for emergency vehicles, plus lighting and CCTV. The Safe Boat Refuge will provide safety for small recreation craft and police boats in heavy weather, and a secure permanent mooring in 2-3 metres depth for the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard rescue vessel, and potentially police boats.
It will also enable all weather launching facilities for recreational vessels in the southern region of Port Phillip and include pedestrian access for visitors with views across Port Phillip. Pedestrian access will also allow for fishing, diving and other activities off the breakwater.
Stage One will involve hydrological, planning and other environmental studies that will then determine the further detail for Stage Two of the Project, being the construction of the project.
Mr Crewther said that he was committed to ensuring that Council were able to confirm that the environment wouldn’t be compromised and that all due diligence would be taken during the planning and construction of the Safe Boat Refuge.
“With our remarkable natural assets, the Dunkley community has a deep interest in preserving our local natural assets including the greater Frankston coastline. I am very pleased that the studies undertaken in Stage One will provide the data and research necessary to ensure optimal safety for boats and other vessels, plus environmental preservation and possible improvement,” Mr Crewther said.
“It is vital that this funding be available to consider what can to be constructed to provide for a safe environment for the launch and retrieval of vessels at the existing boat ramp for Marine Rescue and the Water Police.”
Mr Kevin English, the Co-Ordinator of the Safe Boat Refuge Committee and of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, said that such a project would likely provide “not only an increased response time for Marine Rescue but a higher police presence in the area.”
As the Frankston foreshore is a major attraction which receives nearly a million visitors every year, Mr Crewther said that both the safety of local users and the preservation of the assets that attract them was at the forefront of his mind.
“Subject to the findings of the studies in Stage One, I look forward to seeing the scope around Stage Two of the project, which will cater to the needs of all beach and bay users, and enable the Safe Boat Refuge construction.”
The Oliver’s Hill Safe Boat Refuge will provide the Frankston Volunteer Coast Guard to permanently moor their main rescue vehicle, and will be well used by visitors, walkers, fishers and boat users.
This approved $500,000 funding is as a result of a 2016 Federal election commitment made by Mr Crewther.
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