Politicians from all tiers of government - including Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher and Victorian Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas - gathered on site on Tuesday 25 January to review the project's progress.
The tour was in lieu of an official sod turning, cancelled late last year due to COVID-19.
The upgrade is part of the $382.48 million Geelong City Deal - a commitment between the Commonwealth, State and City of Greater Geelong to revitalise the local economy.
“The upgrades will provide significant improvements to the ferry services at this major tourism gateway for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road and will drive growth in the local visitor economy by strengthening this region as a leading tourism destination,” said Mr Fletcher.
Searoad Ferries is Australia’s busiest vehicle ferry service with over 8,200 crossings between Queenscliff and Sorrento annually and carrying over 950,000 passengers.
It is anticipated that number will grow to one million passengers by 2023, injecting as much as $125 million into local economies.
“We are very excited to be able to offer a world class facility that will bring significant benefits to ferry customers and visitors alike, including safer access for pedestrians, high quality experiences and improved disability access,” said CEO Matt McDonald.
“The terminal will deliver up to 85 new jobs in the construction phase and an additional 25 new ongoing jobs within the ferry operations.”