Channels House - Level 2, 235 Ryrie St Geelong, Vic 3220
Phone: +61 3 5225 3500



Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) began operations on 1 April 2004. VRCA manages the commercial navigation of the channels in Geelong and Hastings port waters and oversee the channel management for the Port of Portland. The Authority was established by the Victorian Government under the Port Management Act 1995 and the Transport Integration Act 2010.

VRCA's key responsibilities include:

  • Management of shipping control
  • Provision of navigation aids
  • Channel management
  • Marine environment protection
  • Safety and security
  • Rotate 2
  • Rotate 3

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The George Molland

The George Molland is the boat used by the Harbour Master at VRCA to patrol the Geelong Port daily. It checks for boating safety, checking on the ships that enter the port and also an integral part of the Eduction Program. The George Molland has a history dating back to the 1800's.

Jean Baptiste Louis Claude Theodore LESCHENAULT de la Tour (November 13 1773 - March 14 1826) was a French botanist and ornithologist.
When Baudin's expedition anchored close to the present site of Bunbury in Geographe Bay in March 1803 a boat was sent to examine a promising inlet at the shore. It was found to be only suitable for small vessels. They named the inlet Leschenault Inlet after the botanist on board 'Le Geographe'. Leschenault was later left behind at Timor in 1803 when he became ill but he returned to France in 1807.

On 14th October 1983 at 10:00 the naming ceremony for the new Pilot Boat 'Leschenault' was held at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour. The boat was named by Mrs.Margaret Allsop wife of Bunbury Harbour Master Captain CRS Allsop. Present were Minister for Transport Julian Grill GM Marine & Harbours C(?)J Gordon Captain Allsop.

On 11/2/1984 at 0600 Pilot Boat 'Leschenault' departed Fremantle to take up duties in Bunbury arriving 1120 met by Deputy HM Captain Clyde Ambrose.
On 14/2/1984 had sea trials 1300-1500. First pilotage (HM Capt.Allsop) 2030-2000 - 'Botany Tradition'

Pilot Boat PV 'Leschenault' departed Bunbury 0800 7/1/1986 arriving 1330 at Fremantle FBH. Departed Fremantle 0715 1/3/1986 arriving Bunbury 1245 to resume piloting duties. Departed Bunbury 0615 7/9/1986 arriving 1530 at Fremantle FBH to take up patrol duties for 'America's Cup'. Departed Fremantle 0700 12/2/1987 arriving Bunbury 1220 resuming piloting duties.

MV PORTLAND departed 25/6/06. Loaded Alumina at Berth 4 for Portland then loaded ex BPA Pilot Boat Leschenault as deck cargo bound for Geelong. Vessel sold to Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) for $225000