Safe harbour gets the green light

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ENVIRONMENTAL investigations will begin with a view to building a safe boat harbour for vessels during heavy weather at Olivers Hill.

Federal Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther announced this month that stage one of a project to build a safe boat refuge will involve “hydrological, planning and other environmental studies.

The studies will determine the further detail for stage two of the project, being the construction of the project”.

A federal grant of $500,000 will go towards the studies and part of the construction of the harbour at Olivers Hill.

Mr Crewther said The Safe Boat Refuge will include 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.

Mr Crewther told The Times that council will take the lead on the project and asked for the $500,000 before the 2016 federal election to start the project.

He said KBR Commercial will design a concept plan by July at the latest and the council construction tender will then go out to market. Construction is planned to begin by May 2019.

The safe boat harbour will include a breakwater with access for emergency vehicles, plus lighting and CCTV.

Stage one including hydrological studies and the concept plan will cost $253,000 and the remainder of the $500,000 will go towards construction when the scope of the project is known.

The safe boat refuge will be used by the Frankston Coast Guard, Water Police, That’s The Thing About Fishing volunteers, Frankston Surf Life Saving Club members and recreational boaters.

“Council will co-contribute to the project as required depending on the length of the breakwater,” Mr Crewther said.

“It really depends what is needed to protect the boat ramp there and to provide a permanent mooring opportunity for the Coast Guard and Water Police.”

Environmental studies will also be a factor in the scope of the safe harbour, Mr Crewther said.

The safe boat refuge is separate from a long-floated idea to build a $38-$80 million marina to be “a regional boating hub”.

The marina project is not listed as a strategic priority in council’s 2017-2021 plan.

First published in the Frankston Times – 19 February 2018

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