Wangim Walk – the 440m Wave Attenuator – was officially launched today, being a major milestone in the progression of the Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project.
Wangim Walk stretches out over Corio Bay to form one of Australia’s longest on-water walkways and will be a magnet for the Geelong community and visitors to the region.
Government from Federal, State and Local levels as well as other VIPs gathered at Wangim Walk this morning for the official launch, which included the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Attendees then were invited to walk out onto Wangim Walk experiencing the new infrastructure for the first time.
Funded under the $370 million Geelong City Deal the project has boosted local jobs, providing work for 18 separate consultancies and ongoing construction activities engaging up to 30 contractors at any given time from six separate companies.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said Wangim Walk served a critical purpose as a wave attenuator, protecting the thousands of craft that use the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s facilities and visit for Geelong’s world-renowned sailing events, international championships and festivals.
“The launch of Wangim Walk signals a new era for the Geelong Waterfront and will help to unlock an exciting future for the precinct,” Senator Henderson said.
“I have no doubt the walk will also be a major tourism drawcard which will help drive our economic recovery – it’s an incredible experience to walk out over the water.”
State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said Wangim Walk would be a major attraction for Geelong residents and tourists to the waterfront, giving them the chance to see Geelong from a new perspective.
“Continuing to deliver Geelong City Deal projects such as Wangim Walk is so important for the future of our regional economy. The collaboration between the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners will make Wangim Walk an iconic Geelong attraction” Ms Couzens said.
RGYC Commodore Stuart Dickson said the club was delighted to deliver an iconic new feature for the Geelong Waterfront that would contribute much to the regional economy and community for years to come.
“Wangim Walk belongs to the community and we look forward to the pleasure it will bring to all those who live in the city and region or come to visit our beautiful bay and waterfront,” Mr Dickson said.
“Venturing out over Corio Bay will be a spectacular addition to Geelong’s tourism experience that will provide ongoing benefit to the visitor economy.
“Wangim, meaning boomerang in the Wadawurrung language, celebrates the rich local heritage and culture of our first peoples and reflects the shape of the structure. The walkway points directly to the granite heights of the You Yangs, a place of special cultural meaning and importance.
“It forms part of the total transformation of the precinct over the next two years, creating brilliant new community and visitor amenities and opening up the waterfront through new public space and connections with the city.”
City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Cr Stephanie Asher said: “The Geelong community welcomes the opening of Wangim Walk and the further transformation of the harbour precinct. This provides another great space in our city for locals to connect and pursue recreational activities that make Geelong such a great place to live.”
The Geelong Waterfront Safe Harbour Precinct Project includes the development of the new Maritime Education Complex, incorporating the Victorian Sailing School and the Yacht Club’s Off The Beach Centre, which provides vital programs for schools and students from all around Victoria.
Future project stages will see the creation of extensive new areas of public domain and key RGYC building redevelopment that will enable expanded community access and use.