Lakes Entrance will receive its first purpose-built on-water refuelling facility with the help of $500,000 from the Victorian Coalition Government, Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull announced today.
Mr Bull said the $866,000 Bullock Island refuelling project would deliver an important piece of tourism infrastructure for Lakes Entrance.
The facility will be the first of its kind in Lakes Entrance and address the increased demand for on-water refuelling on the Gippsland Lakes.
“Currently there is no on-water refuelling options for vessels visiting Lakes Entrance from within the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr Bull said.
“To refuel, operators must remove their vessel from the water and tow it to one of four service stations in Lakes Entrance, otherwise they must walk or catch public transport to a service station, buy their fuel in portable containers and take it back to their vessel.
“This is not an ideal scenario for those visiting this region. We need to make refuelling both easier and safer for all concerned.
“As well as lessening the enjoyment of recreational boating, a lack of refuelling options detracts from Lakes Entrance as a recreational boating destination, breaches various safety regulations and constitutes a significant environmental and safety risk.” Mr Bull said the new facility would comprise a fully bunded storage tank, located at Gippsland Ports’ depot, which can hold 12,500 litres of diesel and 12,500 litres of unleaded petrol, pipework connection between the tank and the facility, a floating pontoon with refuelling dispenser and related safety equipment.
“Gippsland Ports will be responsible for the ongoing management and operation of the facility, which will enable users to purchase fuel using their credit card. I would like to congratulate them on their contribution and thank them for their involvement,” Mr Bull said.
Mr Bull said the Victorian Coalition Government funding for the project would be provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First Program, with Gippsland Ports to contribute $352,000 and a further $14,000 of in kind support.
Mr Bull said the Bullock Island On-water Refuelling Facility project was expected to be completed by December 2013.