City of Joondalup seeks Ocean Reef Marina handover to WA Government

An artist’s impression of the proposed marina.
An artist’s impression of the proposed marina.

EXCLUSIVE

THE City of Joondalup has called on the State Government to become the proponent for the Ocean Reef Marina project.

At its meeting last week, the council requested “the Minister for Planning, as the minister responsible for the State Government lead agency for the Ocean Reef Marina project, to initiate action for the State Government to assume the role of proponent for the Ocean Reef Marina project”.

It was carried 11-2, with councillors John Chester and Brian Corr voting against.

The City has been custodian of the Ocean Reef Marina for several years and has always maintained it did not have the capacity to build the marina on its own and would need the Government or a public-private partnership to develop it.

The City has invested significant resources in the project, developing a concept plan, preparing the structure plan, getting the necessary environmental and planning approvals and, with the State Government, determining how the project can progress to construction stage.

“The City has completed the complex and necessary preparatory work on the Ocean Reef Marina but cannot deliver a project of this size and complexity on its own,” Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said.

“It is now time for the City to hand over custodianship of the Ocean Reef Marina project to the State Government.

“As a significant land-owner in the Ocean Reef Marina site, we intend to play a role in the oversight of the development to ensure the City’s interests and those of our community are still represented.”

Mr Pickard called on the State Government to progress the project to a stage where an “informed investment decision” could be made.

“The project has now advanced to a position and stage in the formal approvals process where momentum should be maintained,” he said.

“This can only be done if the State Government – through the Department of Planning – assumes the role of project proponent.

“Significant hard work and detailed studies have gone on behind the scenes to get where we are today.

“There is overwhelming support for this project in our local community and from people outside the region who want to see the first sod of soil turned on the site as soon as possible.”

Planning Minister John Day said the Government would be “interested in the detailed studies and business case, which the City of Joondalup has been working on, to inform future involvement in the project”.

Ocean Reef MLA Albert Jacob said the State environment and planning approval processes were “well underway”.

“My preference is they are completed, along with the business case, before any change to the proponent,” he said.

At last week’s meeting, the council endorsed an advertising campaign to inform the community of the project’s progress.

The City has also asked Mr Day and acting Environment Minister Liza Harvey to endorse concurrent advertising for the Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) amendment and the public environmental review (PER).

“It is considered of critical importance that the MRS amendment and environmental assessment processes run concurrently, which means all possible detailed information about the project from a planning and environmental perspective will be made available to, and considered by, the public at the same time,” Mr Pickard said.

Mr Day said the Government had been working with the City to progress the planning and public environmental review.

“It has previously been agreed that the local structure plan, MRS amendment and the PER will be occurring concurrently and are anticipated to be released for public comment in early 2016,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing the level of community response when the public advertising process gets underway.”

The marina’s concept plan includes residential and commercial components, an internal beach, club facilities, amphitheatre, water park and playground, memorial park and boat pens and ramps.

THE STORY SO FAR

2007 – Ocean Reef Marina Government Steering Committee established.

2009 – Concept plan seven endorsed for community consultation, receiving 95.6 per cent support from almost 12,000 respondents.

2011 – Amended concept plan endorsed to prepare local structure plan.

2012 –City signs memorandum of understanding with State Government.

2013 – Submission made to WA Planning Commission to request amendment to Metropolitan Region Scheme boundary.

2014 – WAPC initiates boundary amendment. Environmental Protection Authority determines to assess marine based components via public environmental review.

2015 –City calls on State Government to become project proponent.