The State Government of Victoria has committed to continuing it’s support of the Wooden Boat Festival of Geelong, announcing funding from the Regional Events Fund for the 2020 event, to be held at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club from Friday March 6 to Monday March 9, 2020.


Held every two years, the unique Wooden Boat Festival community event attracted more than 37,000 visitors to the Geelong waterfront in 2018 and included more than 150 unique wooden boat entries, bringing almost $2m of economic benefit to the region.


The Wooden Boat Festival is a celebration of all things relating to the design, construction and sailing of wooden boats, and incorporates community activations with local schools, cultural groups and businesses.


Wooden Boat Festival Chairman, Stuart Dickson, was thrilled with the announcement of the State Government of Victoria’s ongoing support.


“Member for Geelong Christine Couzens has always been such a fantastic supporter of this event and has been our ambassador for the past two events,” said Mr Dickson.


“It was her support that assisted us in being successful in receiving funding from the State Government of Victoria for our 2018 event, and we thank her again for her commitment in ensuring the growth of this unique community event for 2020.”


Christine Couzens MP said that the biennial Wooden Boat Festival is a highlight on the Geelong calendar.


“The Wooden Boat Festival is such a unique experience, not only for the boat owners who bring their magnificent wooden vessels to show off, but also for the visitors who come to our region and have the opportunity to enjoy the waterfront and all the activities on offer,” said Ms Couzens.


“Aside from the beauty of the wooden boats, the culture, music and arts programs that are on offer over the Labour Day weekend are what make the event so appealing for families. Events such as this bring important economic benefit to Geelong and I am pleased to support the Wooden Boat Festival in 2020.”


In addition to the funding announcement for the Wooden Boat Festival, Ms Couzens also launched the public consultation phase for the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project, with open forum public meetings set to commence this week.


The three open forum public meetings will be held in a marquee at Fairnie Park, next to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, and will take place on Thursday November 15 from 4pm-8pm; and Saturday 17 and Saturday 24 November from 10am – 2pm.


The Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project is currently in the master planning and design phase, and the appointed design team of Terroir and Tract are seeking feedback on the community’s views of draft plans and how they want the precinct to look and be used.


“These public forums are a great opportunity for members of our community to become involved and inform the GWSHP project design team about what they want to see our waterfront look like,” said Ms Couzens.


The Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project currently has $19.1m committed in funding, with funding from the State Government of Victoria, the Federal Government of Australia, the City of Greater Geelong and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club.