In February 2016 work began on the first stage of the Portarlington Safe Harbour project. The first stage doubles the size of the harbour and builds the necessary infrastructure to make the harbour safe by fully enclosing the harbour on all sides.

By doing this there will be additional berths available for the mussel farmers and other aquaculture activities like scallop farming. This stage will also provide two ferry berths as well as berths for visiting vessels such as the tall ships.

Initial pier work was completed in August 2015.

Three million dollars was allocated for the work that took place on the western arm of the harbour. Daniel Andrews Labor Premier, and Local Member Lisa Neville allocated a  further $15 million dollars in the 2015 State Budget to complete stage one of Portarlington State Harbour. The total cost for stage one therefore will be $18 million. 

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Gallery of works Feb 2015

A snapshot of the history of the Safe Harbour project and diagrams of the plans. 

The existing Portarlington pier and harbour needed an upgrade to become a Safe Harbour.

In 2006 the then Labor State Government announced that a Safe Harbour would be built at Portarlington and that planning would start immediately and would include full community consultation.

Short term emergency work was undertaken on the existing pier in 2007/8 to extend its life for a further 5 years to allow time for the new pier to be constructed.

Consultants were hired, initial plans were drawn up, public comments sought and final plans were released by the then Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Minister Jennings in October 2009.

It was our understanding that Parks Victoria, who was the state government department in charge of the project, applied for funding to build the harbour but failed to obtain the required funding. No further work on the new harbour has been undertaken since then.

The new harbour is urgently required.

The short term repairs extended the existing pier life only until 2012. New work began in February 2015.

Coupled with this fact is that the state’s mussel industry which is centered in Portarlington cannot grow to take up the pending release of new aquaculture areas in Port Phillip.

In addition the state government has nominated Portarlington to be a safe harbour on the Bellarine in times of rough weather for recreational boats which cannot now happen until the new harbour is constructed.

The new harbour has nominated ferry berths included in its plan but this service cannot begin until the first stage of the new harbour is complete.               

First released plan for the new Portarlington Safe Harbour below.


Artist's impression of new Safe Harbour below.



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