IT MIGHT just be the best $11 million ever spent by the Federal, State and Local government authorities who contributed to the renovation of the famous Long Jetty at Port Welshpool.
Certainly in this area.
Since it’s ‘soft opening’ on Friday, December 21 the new-look jetty has generated an economic boom for the area the like of which it has probably never been seen, including in the heady days of the Seacat Tasmanian ferry during the early 1990s.
General Store operator at Port Welshpool, Cindy Rose, was gobsmacked at the response.
“It’s been absolutely amazing. We’ve never seen anything like it in the 14 years we’ve been here. I never thought I’d have to tell people that there’ll be an hour wait for fish and chips, but we’ve had to do that at times over the weekend,” said Cindy this week.
“It’s been massive.
“And it’s not only us. Everyone has benefitted. The crowds have been amazing.
“It’s been great to see the family groups out for a walk on the jetty, doing a bit of fishing and stopping for a picnic and a swim. It’s been great, a real day out.
“It’s been fantastic for the town and the whole area.”
Human-powered campaign machine, Kathy Whelan, the Secretary of the Friends of Agnes Falls, got the word out about the refurbished jetty on ABC’s Australia All Over at the weekend, on Facebook and in a letter to the Herald Sun.
“We got over 3000 hits for the photos we posted on Facebook. The response has been incredible,” said Kathy.
“The next thing will be the cantilever viewing platform at the Agnes Falls, hopefully completed by next Christmas. Then we’ll have the whole circuit; the rail trail, the Long Jetty and the falls.
“We’ve got the cross-promotion going at Agnes Falls for the Long Jetty and the rail trail. It’s been a 13-year wait but it’s been well worth it. It provides people with some real options when they visit the area.”
Former South Gippsland Mayor and Toora resident, Cr Ray Argento, is absolutely delighted at the response.
“There’s still work to be done but we wanted to make it available for the holidays and it’s been fantastic, best trading conditions in 14 years they’ve said.
“There’s still some car parking improvements to come, some interpretative displays including YouTube footage of the jetty works, a five-tonne winch to be located in the shed on the jetty and improved disability access.
“But it’s already provided a boost to the whole Corner Inlet area. The caravan parks are full, there’s been a lot of people staying at the Franklin River Reserve and I’ve just been watching people coming off the rail trail, visiting the falls and then heading off towards the Long Jetty.
“It’s been a long-term goal to develop the visitor options between Phillip Island, the Prom and beyond and with the rail trail, the Long Jetty and the cantilever platform to follow at Agnes Falls we’re really starting to see that happen.
“We need to be acknowledging the great contributions made by the State ($5 million) and Federal ($4.8 million) governments which we will do at an official opening in March but we wanted to get it open for the summer holidays which has proved to be a big success.
“Yes, I think it’s a sustainable attraction. It’s quite unique, the only curved wooden jetty in Victoria and one of the longest (908 metres) remaining wooden jetties in Australia.
“We’ve already seen how much people love it, for a walk with the family, a bit of fishing… it’s a real destination,” he said.
Certainly, the Long Jetty at Port Welshpool is an absolute ‘must see’ over the summer holidays but you might have to wait for your feed of fish and chips!
Long wait for the jetty worthwhile