A 200-berth floating marina, part of the A$100m Balmoral Quay development, has opened on Corio Bay in Geelong, Australia. The marina is part of upscale residential, hotel and commercial projects that are reshaping the former manufacturing city. Balmoral Quay is on the former Rippleside shipyard that has been reconverted to luxury waterfront properties following closures of the Ford factory and Alcoa Steel plant.

Bellingham Marine, responsible for the marina’s construction, has built 30 slips of the eventual 200-berth marina.

Boating Industry Association of Victoria CEO Steve Walker told the Australian Financial Review that boating is big business in Victoria. It has 200,000 registered recreational boats and accounts for about A$4.5bn of economic activity. "Boating, however, has facility and infrastructure shortcomings so a project such as this is a great thing for boating, for infrastructure, for Geelong, and for Victoria," Walker told the paper.

The marina is also more cost-effective than other cities. "Square metre rates at Geelong's development average $9000 per square metre for genuine waterfront compared to marina, river or beach frontage residences at Docklands and Port Melbourne averaging over $15,000 per square metre," said a local real estate analyst.

He added: "This is about the emergence of Victoria's second city as a mature, world-class city and nothing says that better than a top-class boutique marina in a sleek waterside residential precinct."