Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Page: 1184

Mr BROADBENT (9:30 AM) —Prior to the last election and the election before that, the Liberal Party, in its great wisdom, offered the people of South Gippsland $3 million for the Long Jetty. It was a big commitment and there is a very good reason behind it. I had hoped it would be taken up in both election campaigns and promised by the Labor Party. We believe this jetty is the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. It is in pristine waters off the South Gippsland coast. If we rebuild the jetty and build an underwater observatory, the cold water fish that could be observed from that jetty include species that you would not be able to see anywhere else in the world. So it would be a world first and something unique. The first pile was driven around the 1930s and the pier was opened in 1939. A 20-year-old Mr Norry Rossiter climbed onto a pile way out on the built but not yet decked jetty with his box brownie camera to take some striking photographs. It is a wonderful record. I do not know whether he is still alive, but it is interesting that I was brought up in Rossiter Road, Koo Wee Rup. I would guess that in South Gippsland at that time it was the same family. It is a wonderful record of an icon, but we need to restore this jetty.

An underwater observatory has been built at Busselton, in Western Australia, and they have offered to make the money available to build the underwater observatory if we as a government and the state government do this job on the jetty. It will cost $3 million to save an icon. It has great benefits for tourism; disability access, which I have been on about for a long time; and disability access for fishing, which I have been on about forever. South Gippsland is an area with one of the most disadvantaged groups of people in country Victoria, as the Jesuit report described. It is something that we need to do. I call on the government today—and I have been to Martin Ferguson with this before—to go and have a look at this proposal. It could be great for the whole of South Gippsland. It could tie in to the penguin parade down at Phillip Island. It has all the attributes and it ticks every box for something we could do on behalf of this nation and allow, for the first time, something wonderful to happen in a tiny area of Gippsland.