Joondalup council endorses MOU between City and LandCorp for Ocean Reef Marina redevelopment

An artist impression of the proposed Ocean Reef Marina development.
An artist impression of the proposed Ocean Reef Marina development.

JOONDALUP Mayor Albert Jacob has “never been more optimistic for the future” of the Ocean Reef Marina redevelopment to come to fruition.

At Tuesday’s meeting, councillors endorsed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the City of Joondalup and LandCorp to set out the roles of the parties and outline how they will work together to implement the project.

“Unlike previous ones, this one doesn’t expire in a few short years, this one goes on and it really lays down the bedrock for our working relationship together to realise this project for our local community,” Mr Jacob said.

According to a council document, the MoU covers things such as progressing the statutory approvals, management of the land-based assets, the City’s potential contribution to the cost of the community infrastructure, community engagement, and transferring the proponent title from the City to LandCorp.

“The MoU acknowledges that further agreements between the City and LandCorp may be required,” it said.

Mr Jacob said endorsing the MoU was another step to progressing the project, with the environmental and planning approvals still to come.

“It’s a remarkable achievement that it’s here now in 2018 considering we really started with a blank sheet of paper back in 2006-07,” he said.

“If you compare it to any comparable size project for a local government, there’s nothing that comes close.”

At the meeting, Cr Mike Norman moved an amendment to request the City “liaise with and request LandCorp to pursue parameters which will deliver world-class sustainable built form at the Ocean Reef Marina”.

He said the vision for the project in the MoU was “lacking in setting a clear direction about the quality of the substantial commercial and housing development”.

He said he asked the chief executive if the vision statement in the MoU could be updated but was told any change to the MoU already approved by the State Government could risk delaying the project.

“Therefore, I have put forward an amendment which does not impact on the project’s timelines,” he said. “Firmly setting the project on a course to be an environmentally sustainable development is an opportunity not to missed.”

He said this direction would result in a “more liveable and environmentally sustainable built form that is more marketable with lower operating expenses” and it would “demonstrate respect that this project involves clearing 17ha of Bush Forever land”.

“Sustainable design is not necessarily more expensive, it just means the right focus on sustainable design elements must be consistently applied,” he said.

“This project should have a special approach for a special place and without a statement from this council that unequivocally requests that direction, I would not be able to endorse LandCorp’s MOU.”

Though some councillors agreed with the amendment, Crs Philippa Taylor and Nige Jones said they were concerned it would cause delays and Cr Kerry Hollywood raised concerns that a sustainable built form could “cost a lot of money”.

Mr Jacob said he was happy to support the motion that “signals the council is conscious of not only the social and economic benefits of this project but also the importance of having an environmentally balanced approach to delivering it”.

The amendment passed 10-2.

At the meeting, Mr Jacob also took the opportunity to thank the council and the State Government for their work to date on the project, which he said was one of the main projects that motivated him to first pursue life in public office 12 years ago.

“This is my first opportunity here at this table to just say thank you to the members of this council who have continued to support this project,” he said.

“It’s a massive undertaking to even get it to this point… and it’s a real privilege to be playing a part to help progress this matter further again.

“I also want to express my appreciation to the State Government.

“The level of engagement that I’m seeing around progressing this project and the level of support is at the highest I have seen it.”

Last September, the State Government announced a funding commitment of $120 million to fund the Ocean Reef Marina development.

LandCorp, working with the City, will lead the development and it is anticipated construction will start in 2020.

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