The Portarlington Business Development Association Inc. (PBDA) was started in 2009 to service the needs of the local business community and promote the region in general. Through the leadership and drive of our president John Rae OAM, since then we have seen a massive increase in local infrastructure, improvements for local businesses and for the local community.
Around ten years ago Portarlington was a sleepy fishing village and like a lot of regional towns, was struggling. We had no service station, no major supermarket, enrolments of children at our Primary School were falling rapidly and there was no development or future vision.
Step in John Rae as President of the PBDA. John certainly had a vision and a passion for Portarlington’s future and, along with his Executive Committee, set about negotiating successfully with Business Leaders and Local and State Governments to implement the following:
- Port Phillip Ferry service commutes from Portarlington to the Docklands with daily commuters and tourists.
- The addition of a petrol station catered for the needs of locals to save them driving to Drysdale for fuel.
- Woolworths Supermarket, offering a great range of household shopping needs and the employment of 60+ local jobs.
- The Primary School was extended to attract more children and the numbers have increased significantly.
- A new Fire Station was commissioned to be a state-of-the-art facility.
- The building of a Safe Harbour, new Pier and covered walkway for the Ferry.
- The Police Station was renovated to meet the Community’s needs.
- The Celtic & Mussel Festivals became annual events.
- Negotiating for grounds improvements and major sponsors to ensure the future viability of the local Portarlington Football & Netball clubs.
- A Christmas Gift program to help underprivileged families make a difference for their children at Christmas.
- More developments are in the pipeline.
These improvements have been achieved with the efforts of the PBDA under the presidency of John Rae OAM.
Portarlington is a wonderful place to live, prosper and a great destination to visit.