Boat ramp reopened after upgrade

The Port of Warrnambool boat ramp has reopened following a comprehensive upgrade.

The upgrade will improve the recreational boating experience by making the port safer and more accessible. 

The concreted ramp entry is now longer and safer, parking and turning space at the ramp has been increased and the jetties to the north and south of the ramp have been rebuilt and improved.

The project was funded with $3.5 million worth of funding from Better Boating Victoria (BBV), which reinvested boaters licence and registration fees through the Better Boating Fund.

“This is a great outcome for recreational boat users,” Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said.

“It will be safer and easier to get boats in and out of the water and we acknowledge the support of BBV which has made this project possible.

“Complementing the boat ramp upgrade is the dredging being done near the ramp which will also help mitigate the wave and swell action experienced at the ramp.”

BBV Director Katherine Grech said the upgrades were a great example of how boaters’ licence and registration fees were being reinvested through the Better Boating Fund to make hitting the water easier right across the state.

 “The improvements at the Lady Bay boat ramp include new, more modern jetties that have replaced the ageing wooden structures either side of the ramp. The jetties enable better tie-up points and more protection for boaters when launching and retrieving,” she said.

“In addition, the existing two-lane ramp surface has been replaced with grooved concrete slabs to provide more traction and rock revetment alongside the ramp has been reinforced to reduce erosion and wave action.”

The ramp upgrade and dredging are key components of the Victorian Government’s $4.75 million works package at the iconic harbour and breakwater.

An initial 20,000m3 of sand is being dredged and piped into an area 80m from the shore between McGennans Beach and The Flume.

The dredging is part of a 10-year program designed to maintain safe, navigable access to the boat ramp and to reduce wave energy while launching at the boat ramp.

The first dredge will be the largest of the 10-year dredging plan with regularly planned dredging every one to two years.

The methodology being used has been employed successfully elsewhere including at Lakes Entrance.

The dredged deposit will be dispersed by natural sediment transport processes along the beach profile.

The dredging and ramp upgrade followed improvements to Warrnambool’s famous breakwater which sustained damage during a ferocious storm in 2020.

In 2021 concrete render on the breakwater was repaired and capping reinstated which restored access to the inner section of the parapet walkway. An older section of the low landing deck was replaced and handrails repaired.