A new publicly accessible $10.1 million Wave Attenuator at the Geelong Waterfront precinct is nearing completion, with the last three remaining pieces en route to Australia, from Ireland.
Transported by ship, the final pieces of the Attenuator will arrive in December, so the 240m on-water walkway – one of the largest of this kind in Australia – can take shape.
It also provides important safe harbour capacity to berth large vessels such as tall ships.
Funded under the $370 million Geelong City Deal the project has boosted local jobs, providing work for 18 separate consultancies and ongoing construction activities engaging up to 30 contractors at any given time from six separate companies.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the project would significantly expand the harbour precinct and attract new events, giving Geelong a major economic boost.
“This is a great example of a city deal project that is providing local jobs and helping with the economic boost that Geelong needs,” Mr Tudge said.
“The Morrison Government is committed to the COVID recovery in Geelong and across Victoria.”
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said the project was part of the larger Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project.
“The Geelong Waterfront redevelopment will transform the entire precinct, improving connectivity and public access to the waterfront, supporting tourism and community activities, and ensuring year-round visitation to the waterfront,” Ms Symes said.
“By ensuring the precinct can accommodate and attract more major events, we will bring in more revenue and more local jobs for the community, boosting Geelong’s economy.
“This project will also set the waterfront up for future private investment, including further marina upgrades, expansion and development.”
State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the attenuator would be an important part of helping Geelong’s economy recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“The Victorian Government is helping Geelong become an even better place to live, work and invest,” Ms Couzens said.
“By attracting more investment with projects like the attenuator, Geelong will be an integral part of driving Victoria’s overall economic recovery.”
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Australian Government was proud to be investing $3.5 million towards the wave attenuator, which would support Geelong’s tourism industry to bounce back from COVID-19.
“Continuing to deliver City Deal projects like this is absolutely critical to help Geelong, and particularly the hard-hit tourism sector, to bounce back stronger than ever when we look to once again welcome visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Henderson said.
“This forms part of the Australian Government’s $183.8 million investment in the City Deal to support Geelong’s continued economic diversification, growth of the visitor economy and a thriving city centre.
“I look forward to the project reaching completion in early 2021, with nearly 90 per cent of the attenuator already delivered and the last three pieces now heading to Geelong from Ireland.”
City of Greater Geelong CEO Martin Cutter welcomed the news, saying the 430-metre-long attenuator would open the space up over the water to the wider community and provide greater access for the facilities to be enjoyed by all.
“The area is home to major events including the annual Festival of Sails, attracting more than 3,000 sailors and 110,000 visitors to the region, as well as state, national and world championship events,” Mr Cutter said.
“By opening up the space over the water we will see even more locals and visitors alike enjoying the great experiences the area and broader region has to offer.”
Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore Stuart Dickson said the main function and purpose of the wave attenuator or ‘floating breakwater’ was to ‘break’ the coastal waves so that their force is reduced to an acceptable level prior to reaching the marina.
“Marinas must be in sheltered areas or be well-protected by suitable wave attenuators in order to safely and successfully operate floating docks,” Mr Dickson said.
“Well-protected marinas are the most sought-after marina facilities by all boaters, so this is fantastic news for the waterfront.”
Part of the Geelong City Deal the Australian Government is investing $3.5 million towards the wave attenuator.
The $19 million Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project is being jointly funded by the Victorian Government ($7.5 million), Australian Government ($5.5 million), City of Greater Geelong ($3 million) and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club ($3 million) and a previous $2 million from the Australian Government.