Category Archives: Events

Portarlington Grand Hotel

Multi-million dollar plan to restore historic Bellarine pub

Category : Blog

BY GEORGIA HOLLOWAY Times News Group 95 Beach Road, Torquay VIC 3228

A $10 MILLION planning application has been lodged to restore and enhance a 132-year-old Grand Hotel pub on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Multi Millon Portarlington Grand Hotel Restoration
A multi-million-dollar proposal has been lodged to enhance the functionality of the Grand Hotel while
protecting its unique characteristics.

Extensive works have been proposed for Portarlington’s Grand Hotel located in the main shopping precinct

In the application lodged by owners LG Marine Assets, the proposed design is anticipated to have significant impact on local business activity.
“The proposal will support economic growth within the Bellarine Peninsula and will increase business activity within the hotel,” it stated.
Under the planning application, the developers have proposed the construction of a replacement beer garden and outbuildings to include a pizza kitchen, storage room and bathroom facilities.
“The replacement beer garden will be a contemporary, open-air, single-storey canopy structure containing the pizza restaurant and facilities,” the application said.

The demolishment of the existing beer garden, rear hotel extension and balcony have been earmarked in the permit.
Internal alterations to the ground floor bar, bistro and hotel reception areas have been included to help facilitate the additional patrons anticipated in the design plans.
If approved, the hotel will be able to welcome an extra 132 patrons across the four restaurant service areas including the front bar, bistro, beer garden and lawn.

On top of the existing 23 hotel rooms, six more rooms are being proposed on level one of the accommodating floors.
“An upgrade of the existing car parking area is proposed as a part of this development, with the existing gravel car park to be sealed and resurfaced,” the application states.
“The proposed parking can accommodate 52 parking spaces, inclusive of two accessible parks.
“Developers have said the partial demolition will not impact the heritage protected structures while the refurbishment will strengthen functionality and enhance the existing characteristics.”

The application acknowledged the Grand Hotel, which dates back to 1985, was protected by the City of Greater Geelong’s Heritage Overlay and was a distinctive feature in the town’s centre.
“The restoration of the three-level balcony will restore the original architectural character of the hotel and further enhance its status as a landmark in the Portarlington streetscape,” the application states.
“The proposed alterations and additions will provide for the revitalisation of the residential hotel without impacting on the heritage value of the building, and in some sections will enhance them.”

Public comment for the proposed development closes today (Thursday, February 18).

A multi-million-dollar proposal has been lodged to enhance the functionality of the Grand Hotel while protecting its unique characteristics.

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CFA firefighters to feel the FLAIM of Geelong technology

Category : Blog

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville (centre) tries out the FLAIM Trainer at the Portarlington fire station, with some help from FLAIM Systems chief executive officer James Mullins (left) and CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

BY JAMES TAYLOR Thursday 28 January 2021

MORE than 30,000 volunteer firefighters in the CFA will be able to use the latest in virtual reality firefighting training using technology developed by a Geelong-based company.
The CFA will purchase five FLAIM Trainer and 10 FLAIM Extinguisher systems, which will be shared by firefighters across the state.
FLAIM Trainer and FLAIM Extinguisher are unique training systems developed specifically for firefighters by Geelong-based tech company FLAIM Systems alongside researchers at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.

FLAIM Systems chief technology officer James Mullins is also a CFA volunteer, and said FLAIM Trainer worked in a similar way to a flight simulator for pilot training but was designed specifically for firefighters.
“It combines virtual reality technology with real-life industry standard equipment, such as a fire nozzle, breathing apparatus, hose reel, and automated sense-perception devices such as a fire proximity heat suit to simulate both the visual and sensory feelings of being in a fire,” he said.
“Alongside the virtual reality headset, it gives the volunteers an opportunity to participate in a growing library of different scenarios – from house fires and grass fires to aeroplane fires.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bellarine MP, Lisa Neville, tried out one of the FLAIM Trainer units at Portarlington fire station last week.
“The launch of the statewide Virtual Firefighter training program today represents an exciting development in the evolution of firefighting training in Victoria,” she said.
“It will give our hard working volunteer firefighters the ability to extend their skills without exposing them to danger, and allow the CFA to expand its practical training to include more complex scenarios, such as aeroplane fires, without the costs of acting out this scenario in real life.”
“We’re ensuring our emergency services have the tools and resources they need to keep the community safe, and this includes significant investment in the training capabilities of our volunteers on the frontline of emergency response.”

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said accurate risk perception was the key to staying safe while fighting fires.
“It’s at the core of all firefighting,” he said. “For the past 20 years, CFA has been at
the forefront of computer-based learning for operational skills and improving people’s natural ability to perceive risks in the field.
“But we’re always looking for more innovative ways to help our volunteers. That’s why we’re developing virtual reality firefighting training.
“The initial concept came from our volunteers themselves – a way to give volunteers a ‘real life’ ability to assess their skills, without exposing them
to danger.
“CFA volunteers from across Victoria piloted FLAIM Trainer for six months to see if it suited our operational requirements. The feedback from members was very positive.”


Category : Blog

Portarlington’s refurbished police station reopens

Minister for Police and Bellarine
MP Lisa Neville officially opened
the refurbished Portarlington Police station on Newcombe
Street on Friday last week.

BY JAMES TAYLOR Thursday 28 January 2021 Bellarine Times VOL 14. No 5

THE outside of the Portarlington Police station may look the same, but the inside has some of Victoria’s best IT infrastructure following a $350,000 upgrade.
Minister for Police and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville officially opened the refurbished station on Newcombe Street on Friday last week.

The station has been upgraded to include state-of-the-art IT equipment that will allow for operations and investigations to be conducted from the Portarlington location by other units.
“I’m told it’s got the best technology in the state at the moment, as part of the modernisation process we’re doing of all our police stations,” Ms Neville said.
“It’s leading the way in terms of technology, which is fantastic.”

The refurbishment includes docking stations for body worn cameras to be stored securely, extra personal locker rooms, a new equipment and interview room, more storage space and a new steel carport. The station has also been renovated to include a new and separate custody entry point.
Inspector Peter Nichols said the first van left from the refurbished station on December 21 to cover policing requirements over the busy summer period.
He said the Portarlington police station represented the whole community, including the surrounding towns of Curlewis, Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Portarlington, St Leonards and Indented Head.

Inspector Nichols acknowledged other organisations in the area, including:
• Neighbourhood Watch
• SpringDale Neighbourhood Centre
• Bellarine Safer Community
• Drysdale/Clifton Springs Community Association
• St Leonards Progression Association
• Portarlington CFA
• Portarlington Business Development Association.

“The responsibility now is about us to make sure we deliver the appropriate police service,” he said. “In the Western Region, we talk about the ‘community web of protection’ and Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has talked about getting back to basics.
“For me, that means making sure that our members that are here are embedded into that community and providing that right response, and that our actions are accountable.”

Since 2016, the Andrews Government says it has provided an additional 149 police officers to the Geelong Division, including an extra 35 to the Bellarine response zone.
Ms Neville said of the 58 new police positions allocated to the Geelong Division in 2020, eight of those were for Portarlington. She said there had been a recent
change to police deployment in the northern Bellarine over summer, with
extra patrols and more police.
“What we saw was declining crime and improved road safety outcomes, so what it shows you is with having enough police in a police station to do those mobile patrols, and out on the streets, out in the communities, we can make a difference in dropping crime.”

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Portarlington Cruise Ship Anchored

2018 Geelong Cruise Ships February

Category : Events

Information on the Cruise Ships scheduled to visit Geelong for February 2018.

Each cruise ship has themed tours which are pre-booked by some of the guests before arrival to various locations around the Geelong and Bellarine region.

Many visit the Portarlington area Wineries on some of these pre-arranged tours.

Saturday 17th February
The Seven Seas Navigator is tendering into the Royal Geelong Yacht Club from 8am – 7pm.  This ship has approx. 450 guests on board.

Tuesday 20th February
The Seabourn Encore is tendering into the Royal Geelong Yacht Club from 7am – 3pm.  This ship has approx. 800 guests on board.

A shuttle bus will be provided which goes around Central Geelong (The Gardens, Gallery and National Wool Museum), this will run every half hour with a volunteer guide on the bus.

Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine also have volunteers to offer meet and greet to the passengers as they disembark and embark the ship.
The volunteers are briefed and have sound knowledge of things to see and do in the region – this includes tours, wineries, attractions etc.

They also have access to visitor guides and maps which list all members of tourism.

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Portarlington Looking South

Portarlington in FEB 2018 Jetstar Magazine

Category : Blog Ferry News

Just to let you know of a fantastic article featuring Portarlington in this month’s Jetstar Magazine.

Freelance journalist Tim Richards travelled to Portarlington on Port Phillip Ferries in November 2017 and did a couple of activities and stayed in Port as organised by Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine.

Jetstar 787_4

Tim’s article that now appears in all Jetstar Magazines inflight for the whole month of February – starting today.

Inflight magazines cater to a very captivated audience. I’m one of them, always flicking through the magazine when I travel and getting inspired. As researched by Jetstar, nearly 70% (68.6%) read as an activity when they are taking their flight.

As of 2016, 1.6m passengers travelled with Jetstar on average each month. The magazine is available in every seat pocket of the Jetstar Airways fleet on every flight. There are 75 aircraft travelling to 34 destinations.

Happy reading! There is mention of some great local businesses in there.

The whole article equates to $40K in advertising spend.

Narelle Needham
Marketing & Communications Officer
Level 1, 48 Brougham Street, GEELONG VIC 3220

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Portarlington Cruise Ship Jan 2018

A cruise ship in Portarlington JAN 2018

cruise ship in Portarlington? That is something to see!

by Pauline Campbell, Portarlington resident, 23rd Jan 2018

A cruise ship in Portarlington with a hint of Melbourne’s skyline for contrast.
Gotta go throw on a frock and head down there for a much closer look. I can do that because I am not in working tour guide mode! However if I spot a microphone……

Portarlington Cruise Ship Jan 2018
I am standing on our balcony looking at this! I missed the spectacle of seeing her sail past but there she is, sitting serenely out there, the very first cruise ship to visit the township of Portarlington, Victoria.
Not Geelong – as I heard on the radio (SmoothFM!)

Naturally I will be having a look tomorrow. As an interested party! Having worked with the various cruise lines over the years, this is not a ship I’m familiar with or have worked with as a professional Tour Guide over the last 15 years.

It is an exciting time for the town.

Cruise ship visits Portarlington

Over 2000 plus passengers. With the ferry there, I am sure there will be photo opportunities for me to capture some of the excitement. It will be bumper to bumper traffic of all kinds! Geelong was cancelled as an anchor point, something about the lack of depth in the shipping channel to Geelong.

Portarlington, Victoria

Passengers will be tendered to shore to the recently completed Portarlington Safe Harbour floating berth they have to share in turn with the Ferry.

At the Rockpool cafe at the Pier on the day we chatted with two crew members. One told us he was able to disembark, while his colleagues had to remain on board. He said the passengers came from The USA, Canada, Germany, The UK and Australia.

First cruise ship to visit Portarlington, Victoria.

There is often a moment you wish didn’t happen. I mentioned the kangaroo costume meeting and greeting by the Pier, inviting the passengers arriving on the new Safe Harbour pier for photo opportunities. “That kangaroo is very ordinary.” I said. “Oh… that was me” the young lady smilingly answered, standing with the friendly crew member mentioned previously.

Ferry Pier Portarlington, Victoria.

Learn the instant art of backtracking at these moments.

A Canadian woman also spoke to us, asking relevant questions about the local area and City of Melbourne and recommending her home town of Vancouver for a visit.

Visiting the shops in the main street later, all seemed happy with the increased patronage and subsequent sales on the day.

portarlington safe harbour
Images by Pauline Campbell of Bellarine Discovery Tours

PBDA-Business Breakfast

March 2017 PBDA Business Breakfast

Category : Blog Events

March 2017

Our first PBDA Business Breakfast went off really well.

With special thanks to President John Rae as MC, and our three great speakers; Cameron, Connie & Lyndsay.

We filled Saints and Sailors in Portarlington, and many PBDA Members said they are looking forward to our next PBDA Breakfast.

The Northern Bellarine Transport Action Group (NBTAG) are holding a public meeting

Your assistance is required to support the upgrade of public transport services on the North Bellarine.

The Northern Bellarine Transport Action Group (NBTAG) are holding a public meeting on Friday, 10th March 2017, 2:00-3:00 at the Bayview Room Parks Hall in Portarlington, and your attendance and support would be greatly appreciated.

Lisa Neville – Member for Bellarine will be the guest speaker.

Portarlington Ferry in Safe Harbour

Proposed ferry service from Portarlington into Collins Landing

“We are interested in running a ferry service from Wyndham, Portarlington and Williamstown into Collins Landing.”


Mr Little told Fairfax Media on Tuesday 20th OCT. 2015.

The ferries would dock in the heart of the Docklands precinct in Melbourne and Mr Little says the economics and viability of the services are being rigorously modelled.


SeaLink is eyeing expansion into other cities and in Melbourne is working on several options including a trial of a passenger service from Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula across Port Phillip Bay to Melbourne. Mr Ellison said the company has held preliminary discussions with Mr Little’s private companies. The trend for state governments to want to get cars off increasingly clogged roads in Sydney and Melbourne delivers strong growth opportunities for ferry passenger services, he said.

Fast forward to February 2018 –  A daily dedicated Docklands to Portarlington Ferry is now part of the seascape.

The Portarlington Safe Harbour has just been officially completed with a dedicated floating berth for the Ferry and Cruise Ship tenders if visiting.

CLICK HERE for more


2021 Portarlington Grand Hotel Update

A multi-million-dollar proposal has been lodged to enhance the functionality of the Grand Hotel while protecting its unique characteristics. CLICK IMAGE for MORE. Portarlington
Grand Hotel


Portarlington Town’s refurbished police station reopens. CLICK IMAGE for MORE. Portarlington
police station

2020-2021 Portarlington Directory Print .PDF – CLICK IMAGE

Find latest Portarlington & Bellarine based business & community information in our Local Print Edition. 2019-2020-PBDA-Directory-Cover

Portarlington CFA Fire station FLAIM test.

Portarlington CFA Fire station FLAIM test. CLICK IMAGE for MORE. Portarlington
CFA Fire station FLAIM test