St Leonards Boat Ramp and Undesirable Behaviour

St Leonards Boat Ramp and Undesirable Behaviour Main Image

16 January 2024

Photo credit Ian Parsons.


It is with concern for everyone’s safety, that I respectfully ask the visitors and users of the St Leonards boat ramp to be tolerant and patient.

St Leonards boat ramp is a popular spot with boaters and locals who enjoy fishing and when the weather is good, the overflow carpark is often full.

I acknowledge that this ramp is exposed to all weather conditions and things can change quickly, so as boaters prepare to go out, they must put safety first.

It is concerning to have reports of undesirable and what could be reportable behaviour at the ramp.

In more recent weeks this boat ramp has also had a special visitor, with a seal resting along one of the ramp jetties. This has resulted in authorities taking the only action they can take and roping off the area to people, for the safety of people and the seal.

Many people have enjoyed seeing our wildlife on our shores, but as a reminder to locals and visitors, there is legislation and protection around seals.

Seals are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and the Wildlife (Marine Mammal) Regulations 2019 and you should always maintain a minimum distance on land of 30 metres between you and a seal, 50 metres if you are walking dogs, and 5 metres on a jetty or pier.

As protected wildlife, it is an offence to wilfully injure, disturb, chase or herd seals, or to feed any marine mammal, and carries a fine of up to $3,846.

If you are worried about a seal’s condition you can contact the Marine Response Unit on 1300 245 678 and if you witness people or their dogs getting too close to seals, you can phone Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000.

Boaters and visitors to the ramp need to respect the rules and show patience as the seal will eventually move on and return to the bay.

Boater will also benefit from upcoming upgrades at the St Leonards boat ramp, with funding committed at the last state budget.

The St Leonards Boat Ramp upgrade will be delivered in two stages, commencing with Stage 1 after Easter in 2024. Subject to permits and approvals, Stage 1 will include the construction of a new central T jetty at the boat ramp with inbuilt wave baffles to reduce the impact of wave action at the boat ramp.

I am pleased to continue my engagement with representatives of local boaters who have met with myself and Better Boating Victoria last year to advance this project.

For more information people can visit


Lines attributed to Alison Marchant Member for Bellarine:

‘The Bellarine is the envy of many other coastal regions, with several major and smaller boat ramps, giving boaters plenty of options on where to put in their boat’.

‘Ocean Grove, Clifton Springs, Point Richards and Queenscliff ramps have all had upgrades over recent years, and I’m pleased that investment is now committed to St Leonards boat ramp’.

‘I urge boaters to be safe, so everyone can enjoy the water and fishing on the Bellarine’.