THE Victorian Government has opened tenders for repairs to the historic Workshops Pier in Williamstown, Melbourne as part of a $46 million program to rebuild piers and jetties across the state.

The pier, which was built in 1942, is a local landmark in Williamstown’s historic maritime precinct and the reopening will support the vision of the recently released Williamstown Local Port Area Plan.

This project complements last year’s upgrade of nearby Gem Pier, also located in the Williamstown maritime precinct, where new fenders have been installed to provide safe berthing for commercial vessels and ferries, ensuring it remains an accessible destination for operators, the government says. 

Workshops Pier will undergo significant upgrades to strengthen its foundations and allow it to accommodate tall ships and commercial vessels again after being closed in 2021 for public safety.

The pier originally served the Williamstown Workshops, which is now part of the Seaworks site which promotes Victoria’s maritime history in Williamstown.  Seaworks act as custodians of the former Melbourne Harbour Trust site, leasing it from Parks Victoria.

Prior to the pier’s closure it was part of the working port and Melbourne’s key mooring site for visiting local and international tall ships and other historic vessels.

“Seaworks provides a place for recreational, educational, tourism, cultural and commercial activities, attracting Victorian, interstate and overseas visitors,” the Parks Victoria website suggests. “It is also a working waterfront that should provide long term berthing options for local commercial operators as well as able to support the demand for high profile vessels and international maritime events.”

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said: “We’re making this Williamstown landmark safe and accessible, so residents and tourists can again enjoy this iconic part of our maritime history.”

The lead construction partner for the Workshops Pier project is expected to be appointed this spring.