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MEDIA RELEASE - Whale viewing platform opens to public

30 October 2015

PORTLAND’S status as Victoria’s whale capital has been provided a helping hand with the launch of a new purpose built viewing platform.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan joined Glenelg Shire Mayor Max Oberlander and community members to officially open the whale shaped platform, located on the Wade Street cliff face, overlooking Portland Bay.

The all-access facility includes binoculars and seating, in addition to information boards on the Southern Right Whale and other local flora and fauna.

Cr Oberlander said Portland was proud to position itself as a state icon for whale viewing.

“Whale watching is one of the region’s greatest tourism assets and this new platform will ensure visitors have a specific and clear viewing space to see these majestic creatures play in our southern waters,” Cr Oberlander said.

“The Wade Street vantage point provides some of the best views of Portland Bay, across to Narrawong and around to the Port of Portland, ensuring people don’t miss a minute of the Southern Rights during their winter migration.

“Already thousands of people visit Portland annually to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. This viewing platform will assist in seeing that figure continue to grow, strengthening our economy and creating local jobs.”

The $140,000 platform was jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments and built by Portland-based G.R Carr Building Contractors.

The initial concept plan proposed building a simple raised compacted area. Cr Oberlander said the final design chosen provides many additional features to enhance the whale viewing experience.

Mr Tehan said Portland was the first of seven regional communities to receive funding to build a viewing platform, as part of a $2 million National Whale Trail.

“The $25,000 funding from the Australian Government’s Whale Trail initiative puts Portland on the Whale Trail map and enhances its reputation as a great place to whale watch,” Mr Tehan said.

“Through the Whale Trail initiative we will not only be generating vantage points along the coastline to watch our marine wildlife; but also enhance and promote understanding in the community about the importance of protecting whales and dolphins.”

Cr Oberlander urged people to register for Whale Mail (whalemail.com.au), an up to the minute newsfeed detailing local whale sightings, and the Council Facebook page.



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