The Coalition will fund the final $5 million needed to deliver a long-awaited artificial surf reef off Albany if re-elected on May 21. Liberal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson on Tuesday announced the election pledge towards the $11 million Southern Ocean Surf Reef, which has already secured $5m from the WA Government. It comes after the City of Albany council in February voted to make a third bid for Federal funding under the Building Better Regions Fund after missing out on last year’s round. The council also voted to commit a confidential sum to get the project over the line. The proposed 165m submerged rock reef would be situated about 140m offshore from Middleton Beach and 150m north of the Surfers Beach car park. It is expected to provide consistent surf breaks of up to 100m for about 41 per cent of the year. Mr Wilson said creation of a consistent local surf break would help keep young people in Albany, as well as increasing tourism and accelerating economic investment in the Middleton Beach area. “Albany has long been an idyllic seaside holiday spot, but the nearest reliable surf breaks to the centre of town are at Nanarup and Muttonbird, each more than 20km away,” he said. “The reef will ensure surfers from the urban areas of Albany, and tourists who mainly stay close to town, will no longer have to travel far to catch a great wave.” Mr Wilson said if the Coalition was not re-elected next month and no matching commitment was made from another party, the project would remain in the running for funding through the BBRF, which would be announced later this year. Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said after more than two decades of development and community campaigning, it was fantastic to see the final funding pledged. Mr Wellington said he would like to see other parties come to the table with a funding commitment ahead of the Federal election so the project could start regardless of who wins government. “It is something that is a culmination of a lot of years of work that have been done over the last 20 years here,” he said. “It is a fantastic result, primarily for the kids of this region.” Mr Wellington said he understood the construction process could take about six months dependent on the availability of barges. “I would think within the next 12 months we can be up and operational and have a surf reef,” he said. Earlier this year, Surfing WA threw its support behind the project, with chief executive Mark Lane expressing a desire to bring events and competitions to Albany if the reef is built. “Albany and the south coast is a destination we dearly want to involve because a lot of our membership is here. What holds us back is the wave quality and this very project will fix that,” Mr Lane said in February.