Geelong’s new $10.1 million, 440m Wave Attenuator has launched today, being a major milestone in progression of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project.
Named the Wangim Walk, it stretches out over Corio Bay to form one of Australia’s longest on-water walkways and will be a magnet for the Geelong community and visitors to the region.
Funded under the $370 million Geelong City Deal the project has boosted local jobs, providing work for 18 separate consultancies and ongoing construction activities engaging up to 30 contractors at any given time from six separate companies.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the wave attenuator would expand the waterfront precinct and attract new events that would help the local tourism industries recover from COVID-19.
“Expanding the precinct broadens the scope for major events and new tourism initiatives, which will attract thousands of locals and visitors,” Mr Tudge said.
“This is a great example of a city deal project that is providing local jobs and helping with the economic boost that Geelong needs.”
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes welcomed the significant landmark’s completion.
“Projects like this are expanding on what’s already unique about Geelong and the region, making it an even better place to live, work, invest and visit. The Geelong City Deal continues to deliver for regional Victorians with our support,” Ms Symes said.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said Wangim Walk served a critical purpose as a wave attenuator, protecting the thousands of craft that use the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s facilities and visit for Geelong’s world-renowned sailing events, international championships and festivals.
“The opening of Wangim Walk signals a new era for the Geelong Waterfront and will help to unlock an exciting future for the precinct,” Senator Henderson said.
“I have no doubt the walk will also be a major tourism drawcard which will help drive our economic recovery – it’s an incredible experience to walk out over the water”
State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said Wangim Walk would be a major attraction for Geelong residents and tourists to the waterfront, giving them the chance to see Geelong from a new perspective.
“Continuing to deliver Geelong City Deal projects such as Wangim Walk is so important for the future of our regional economy. The collaboration between the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners will make Wangim Walk an iconic Geelong attraction” Ms Couzens said.
State Member for Lara John Eren said the Wangim Walk would make a difference to many in the community now and into the future.
“I am proud to collaborate with my colleagues in the Australian Government, Victorian Government, the City of Greater Geelong and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) in officially opening Wangim Walk.”
RGYC Commodore Stuart Dickson said the club was delighted to deliver an iconic new feature for the Geelong Waterfront that would contribute much to the regional economy and community for years to come.
“Wangim Walk belongs to the community and we look forward to the pleasure it will bring to all those who live in the city and region or come to visit our beautiful bay and waterfront,” Mr Dickson said.
“Venturing out over Corio Bay will be a spectacular addition to Geelong’s tourism experience that will provide ongoing benefit to the visitor economy.
“Wangim, meaning boomerang in the Wadawurrung language, celebrates the rich local heritage and culture of our first peoples and reflects the shape of the structure. The walkway points directly to the granite heights of the You Yangs, a place of special cultural meaning and importance.
“It forms part of the total transformation of the precinct over the next two years, creating brilliant new community and visitor amenities and opening up the waterfront through new public space and connections with the city.”
City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Cr Stephanie Asher said: “The Geelong community welcomes the opening of Wangim Walk and the further transformation of the harbour precinct. This provides another great space in our city for locals to connect and pursue recreational activities that make Geelong such a great place to live.”
The Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project includes the development of the new Maritime Education Complex, incorporating the Victorian Sailing School and the Yacht Club’s Off The Beach Centre, which provides vital programs for schools and students from all around Victoria.
Future project stages will see the creation of extensive new areas of public domain and key RGYC building redevelopment that will enable expanded community access and use.
The $19.35 million Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($5.5 million), Victorian Government ($7.85 million), City of Greater Geelong ($3 million) and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club ($3 million).
The transformative project has been realised with funding from the Australian and Victorian governments and the City of Greater Geelong through the $382 million Geelong City Deal, which contributed $3.5 million to enable construction and installation.
Attendees gathered for the official ribbon cutting ceremony at Wangim Walk this morning included: Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson, State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens, State Member for Lara John Eren, City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher and Royal Geelong Yacht Club Commodore Stuart Dickson.