Wednesday 12th Dec, 2018

VRCA seeks to dredge Geelong

Image: Jim Wilson & Hema Maps
Image: Jim Wilson & Hema Maps

VICTORIA Regional Channels Authority has confirmed it is seeking to dredge channels on the approaches to Geelong in order to bring in deeper draft ships.

Chief executive Michael Harvey told Port Outlook 2018 such dredging programs had occurred continuously over time.

“We’re (currently) not optimising the depth through Port Phillip Heads. We are not optimising opportunities for port users,” Mr Harvey said in making the case for dredging work.

“We are looking at that, we are doing a lot of geotechnical work at the moment. It is a long term project but it is something that we will be pursuing vigorously.”

Mr Harvey said at this point they didn’t have a particular depth they planned to dredge.

“We have a range of options. We’re looking at the dredging technologies that would be required to move hard rock and clay – it will be expensive,” the chief executive noted.

“I’d like to think it was the $35m that it cost in 1997 – it’s going to be multiples of that.”

Port Phillip Sea Pilots lists the channel depth at Geelong as 12.3 metres with the maximum ship draught being 11.7 metres.

Moving on to the topic of safety, Mr Harvey spoke of deploying “some fairly sophisticated technology to give our marine controllers and the inbound or outbound vessels the ability to see recreational vessels in places that they shouldn’t be”.

Port Outlook was held in Williamstown and was organised by the Victorian Transport Association.

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