THE reconstruction of the Port Welshpool Long Jetty is now assured, irrespective of which major party is voted into power in Saturday’s federal election.
The federal member for McMillan, Russell Broadbent, recently pledged that a re-elected Coalition Government would contribute $4.8 million towards the restoration of the historic jetty.
Now the Labor Opposition has made the same commitment.
The ALP candidate for McMillan, Chris Buckingham, visited Port Welshpool on Monday to announce that a Shorten Labor Government would contribute $4.8 million to the reconstruction of the Long Jetty.
“The Long Jetty is a significant community asset that has been allowed to gradually deteriorate to a point where people have not been able to use it,” said Mr Buckingham.
“We will rebuild the Long Jetty in partnership with South Gippsland Shire Council, the Victorian State Government and most importantly the community.
“This is a project that will create jobs, build confidence in the community and provide a great recreational experience for visitors and locals alike.
“I know how much this announcement will mean to people right across the region, in particular the people of South Gippsland. It is great to be able to guarantee a good result at last.”
With $5 million long promised by the State Government and $1 million from South Gippsland Shire Council, the project can now go ahead.
Shire CEO Tim Tamlin said that Council would be assisting Gippsland Ports on the project, commencing with a call for tenders.
Cr Jeanette Harding was unable to be at Port Welshpool for the announcement, but she said she was thrilled to hear the news.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve got support from both sides of Parliament,” she said.
“This is a project of regional importance. It will be very much appreciated by the local community and the people of South Gippsland, but the Long Jetty will also bring people from Melbourne and much further afield.”
Port Welshpool resident Barbara Jeffrey welcomed Mr Cunningham’s announcement, too. She said she was looking forward to being able to walk out on the jetty again. “It will be a great asset for Gippsland,” she said. “This funding commitment is the culmination of lots of hard work on the part of lots of people,” she added.
“There should be a collective pat on the back for all those that have strived over the years for this outcome. It is really fantastic!” said long-time jetty campaigner Roger Harvey.
“I am so pleased that both the Liberal and the Labor candidates have seen fit to provide the missing piece to the rebuilding of the Long Jetty, namely federal funding to the tune of $4.8m.
“Moreover, it is important to note that the shire’s federal funding application has been acknowledged by Canberra and that it ticked all the boxes under the application criteria of value for money, the promotion of economic growth and addressing issues of social disadvantage. This is what the community has been saying all along. With the dairy industry in difficulties, hopefully the Long Jetty project can be speedily implemented in order to provide a much needed stimulus to the local economy.”