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Arts and CultureSports and Recreation

Portarlington Pier to Celebrate Wadawurrung Country

Aboriginal art celebrating a sense of Wadawurrung Country and the importance of storytelling will be a striking addition to major improvements underway at Portarlington Pier.

A new purpose-built covered walkway to be constructed from the foreshore to the ferry terminal will display original art created by the Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung People. The concept designs released today, capturing the stories of place, water and journey, will be etched into the structure’s screens and roof. 

Portarlington Harbour is an important focal point for the Bellarine Peninsula, providing significant economic and recreational benefits.  The upgrades, which are now underway and due for completion in September 2022, are part of a $9.6 million investment into on-water improvements as detailed in the Portarlington Safe Harbour Plan 2009.

Visitors to the pier will be able to watch as the northern pier head and eastern low landing are removed and replaced between now and November during the first stage of works, and the demolition of the old duplicated and unsafe pier will begin in June.  Construction of the covered walkway is due to be completed by June 2022.

During the works, the priority is to maintain access to the pier but at different times some limits and closures may be in place to keep people safe. There will be signage at the site to keep people informed.

Once complete, the precinct improvements will feature safer all-weather access from the foreshore to the ferry service, a strengthened pier head to enable vehicle access for the aquaculture industry and emergency response crews, a new disability-accessible low landing for improved water access, and a proposed new rock groyne to protect the ferry berth and reduce sand migration into the harbour. 

The improvements are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $24 million Piers and Jetties Stimulus Package. 

For more information, please visit www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight, Melissa Horne

“We are delighted to be working closely with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation in a meaningful way for community to connect with their stories and cultural heritage through a permanent installation at this high-quality facility.”

“Portarlington Harbour is a much-loved destination on the Bellarine Peninsula for walkers, boaters, anglers and swimmers, and the vital on-water improvements will ensure people can continue to enjoy this area for many years to come.”

Quote attributable  Gayle Tierney, Duty MP for Bellarine

This is an important project for Portarlington and one that has been led by Bellarine MP Lisa Neville.

It will create more jobs for local workers and provide the local fishing, aquaculture and tourism industries a much better facility to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Quotes attributable to Manager Cultural Education, Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Corrina Eccles

“The response from our families to contribute artwork designs for this project has been overwhelming and reiterates the shared importance of preserving our culture through storytelling.”

“By capturing the stories of place reflected through water, sand, shells, marine species and journey, we hope visitors to the precinct will be able to recognise our story and appreciate being on Wadawurrung Country.”