THE Ocean Reef Marina has been given the green light of environmental approval.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced this morning the marine portion of the project had passed the State’s highest level of environmental assessment, paving the way for construction to start next year.
The Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken by the Environmental Protection Authority, which included a 13-week public comment period,found the proposed development environmentally acceptable subject to strict conditions.
These include the development of monitoring and management plans to ensure any impacts to marine water quality and habitats outside the marina, as well as adjacent beaches are minimised, and measures to improve the management and protection of similar marine near-shore habitats in the Marmion Marine Park.
Best practice development processes will also be followed to ensure the environmental impact is minimised, including acquisition of suitable conservation land, seed collection and rehabilitation of bushland on the site.
Lands Minister Ben Wyatt said the environmental approval for the marine portion of the project was an important step forward for the long-awaited project and would allow detailed planning to progress.
He said the State Government was committed to sustainable development and ensuring the project is “delivered in an environmentally responsible and sensitive way”.
Mr Dawson said it was important to “balance the environmental impacts during this process to protect our unique coastline”.
“There has been extensive community consultation to get to this point and I look forward to the project coming to fruition,” he said.
Mr Wyatt added the development and ongoing operation of the marina would “deliver more than 900 local jobs and create a vibrant new tourism, hospitality and residential precinct on our coast”.
Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton agreed, saying it would transform the area and become a “key economic driver in the region”.
“It will deliver local jobs and put Joondalup on the map as a tourism destination, along with being a fantastic location to interact with our pristine coastline and spend time with your family,” she said.
The Ocean Reef Marina project will have capacity for 565 boat pens and 200 boat stackers, about 12,000sq m of retail and commercial space, more than 1000 homes and 2.6ha of public open space.
The government has committed $120 million in funding over the life of the project, stating with a $35 million allocation over the first four years.
Further funding is expected to be raised through private sector investment.