Bath calls for answers and a community meeting over Newhaven Jetty closure

Answers and a stakeholder meeting with the Minister for Ports have been requested in state parliament over the sudden and shocking closure of Newhaven Jetty.

On behalf of local residents, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Public Land Use and The Nationals Melina Bath demanded answers from the Allan Labor Government as to why the jetty was indefinitely closed to public access by Parks Victoria without consultation.

Ms Bath said local stakeholders were feeling blindsided by its closure, telling her it has had an immediate negative social and economic impact.

“Despite receiving an engineering report four years ago stating the jetty needed urgent structural upgrades, Labor has failed to plan upgrades–to the point of dereliction.

“Parks Victoria signage cites structural failures – but that’s the extent of the communication.

Ms Bath told parliament that Labor has an obligation to reinvest boating and fishing fees to improve recreational fishing, boating infrastructure and challenged the Minister why Newhaven Jetty isn’t prioritised.

“The jetty plays an important role for locals and visitors for fishing, walking and recreation and abuts the magnificent Saltwater restaurant.

“The area is blighted by temporary wire fencing, chains and a padlock – all because Labor failed to maintain the jetty when it was identified.

“Dinners at Saltwater restaurant and locals who use the jetty daily are now looking at unsightly wire mesh fencing, instead of sweeping Instagram worthy views of Westernport.

“The jetty’s closure has adversely impacted Saltwater’s patronage a small business employing 30 locals.”

Melina Bath MP, Saltwater Restaurant owner Ben Dennis and local charter operator Amanda Keilar will host a community meeting to fight the jetty’s closure on Friday 7 June at 10.00AM onsite.

She said Newhaven Jetty has been left to rot by the Allan Government.

“I have called on the Minister to meet with locals and provide a timeline for the Newhaven Jetty’s upgrade and reopening.

“Given the importance of the jetty to the tourist economy and residents’ wellbeing – Labor MP’s must realise that saying and doing nothing is not an acceptable option.

“Labor spruiks tourism and yet it is complicit in the closure of an asset that actively supports the visitor economy.

“Labor cannot manage money, cannot maintain community assets, and Bass Coast locals are paying the price.”