- Ocean Reef is a very special place for so many people. The loss of beaches, surf breaks, abalone collecting, snorkelling, swimming, fishing, an extensive amount of the coastal shared path for cyclists and walkers, will impact many people. Why wasn’t the social loss that will be brought about the development considered at any time?
- Most people would be unaware how biodiverse the coastal vegetation and reef are. How and when would the public have found this information to make an informed opinion?
- Did you ever consider at any stage, preparing a simple analysis of the pros and cons of this project so people could be better informed?
- Until just recently when City of Joondalup handed over this development to the state government developer, DevelopmentWa, the feasibility and planning of the Marina cost were borne by City of Joondalup ratepayers. Now this project’s on-going financial burden has been handed over to the taxpayers of WA. When were taxpayers of WA allowed to have a say on this destructive project, sugar coated as a job’s stimulus?
- The 2009 community survey that you base your development premise on, was only for the existing boat harbour site and to the highest environmental standards. There was only one question in that survey asking if you felt a need to upgrade the existing Marina, which 15% of households agreed. This appears to have given City of Joondalup the green light for a 1250 housing estate. Why weren’t the public given information on the environmental, financial, cultural and health impacts of the advanced Marina upgrade?
- To be able to clear 26ha of Bush Forever and its linkage you had to ask government departments to find a like for like offset. They couldn’t but allowed 26 ha of existing Banksia and Tuart bushland at Carabooda as the offset, but Ocean Reef bushland is here for us not Carabooda. Why are you taking 92ha of our playground away when the only survey for the marina was to be on the existing boat harbour site?
- With an increase in population for our suburbs and Joondalup already over cleared, why are we choosing to infill our green places, are you condemning us to less nature nearby for recreation and well-being?
- A survey in 2018 was the only opportunity the residents of Joondalup had to have their say on coastal values. Overwhelmingly, this community survey showed a preference for natural coast over development. Why did the plans for the housing development continue and expand?
- Now that you are coming to the end of the planning stage, do you have a feasibility study we the public could scrutinise, since we are to live with and pay for the ongoing costs of this development?
- How much do you plan to recoup from the sale of the lots?
EPA marine assessment:
- Describes the total destruction of sea life not only in the footprint of the breakfall but for the continued smothering of the seabed from dissolving limestone used in the break wall and sediment disturbance for a radius of at least 5kms, how and who made the decision to proceed with this development after this assessment?
- The EPA assessment doubts any modelling could overcome the problems of sea wrack build up, water pollution, detrimental effect on the beaches each side of the development, sediment drift to the surrounding 5kms and have placed an onerous number of requirements on the development to monitor? Will you maintain and manage these ongoing issues in perpetuity?
- There appears there is a lot that we don’t know about the reef as the EPA assessment did not mention the threatened weedy sea dragon who have been observed by the commercial abalone fishermen to come into this reef to breed every year in November and migrate out to deeper water when their young are big enough in March, or “Salty” the threatened Sea Lion using the reef for his meals and beach for his haul out. Why weren’t these impacts to wildlife not considered?
Boat facility requirements:
- What is your business case to warrant the creation of 750 boat storage units and commercial precinct at Ocean Reef when Hilary‘s boat harbour and Mindarie marina have empty pens and commercial premises? Our calculations from the Department of Transport boat registrations and satelite images over Hilary;s boat harbour and Mindarie marina and the new Eglington Marina, there will be a 1000+ boat storage surplus if the Ocean Reef Marina goes ahead.
- Where is your waiting list for boat pen and storage?
- Do you intend to put the proceeds of the lots towards on-going sand replenishment, dredging, water quality monitoring and maintenance and the restoration of the vegetation in a degraded state?
- How many storey’s high would you need to be on to enjoy a sunset over the ocean not the breakwall?
- Could we please see the data that supports your claim of 8000 jobs during construction and 900 ongoing jobs?
- Although DWER granted clearing permits to you, they are unable to monitor the clearing and rely on the public to do this. This first clearing has been never ending as excavators eat into the earth, deeper and deeper. How could the surrounding Bush Forever not collapse from such deep excavations! Locals have photographed the clearing and reported that you underestimated the clearing required from Hodges drive by 1m each side along the entire length of the clearing to install footings
- Did you apply for another clearing permit or have you illegally cleared?
- The surrounding bushland has a high level of biodiversity including many threatened or locally rare animal species including, a priority reptile species, the priority 3 Quenda, birds that have become so rare to Perth that Bush Forever 325 has become the go to urban place to see them such as the white winged and purple backed wrens, white breasted Robbins and the threatened burrowing migratory bee eater. Not only is a major part of their habitat being lost, but a secondary threat will be from cats in the housing development. Will you take responsibility to ensure that City of Joondalup change their responsible cat ownership laws so that residents of Ocean Reef Marina restrict their cats to their property?
- What provision have you made for regeneration of adjacent bushland with suitable plants? We do not want a repeat of your attempt at regeneration of cleared dunes at Alkimos which has been a failure because the wrong plants with little biodiversity or wildlife value were used.
- Will your revegetation and rehabilitation of bushland be in accordance with the City of Joondalup Ocean Reef foreshore reserve management plan
- As a world class development, will DevelopmentWA, re-establish the north south system ecological linkage by constructing a nature bridge over the access roadways as originally indicated?
- Are you aware that the Beenyup waste water treatment outfall is the sixth worst in Australia and is predicted to increase as the outfall increases?
- The Beenyup wastewater outfall was intended to be 1.65kms from shore, it only 650m west of the marina entrance. entrance as the breakwall extends almost 1km towards it. How will you address the pollution from the outfall washing into the marina and being unable to escape?
- Ongoing water quality inside marinas is generally of concern. Are you willing to use modern environmental sensing technology to monitor turbidity levels at the marina entrance constantly with particular emphasis on same daily time just after the peak amount of outfall occurs, in the case of OR about 1 to 2pm?
- Why do you think we see non-biodegradable plastic cotton buds wash up on our beaches surrounding Beenyup after heavy rainfall? Would this be an indicator of the Beenyup outfall not able to cope with the excess water and letting solids through?
- A last minute attempt to quieter those shell shocked by the imminent loss of their abalone and snorkeling reef, surf breaks, swimming beaches, weathered limestone coves, nature nearby, connection to country, coastal shared path, the Premier has offered a sea pool inside the marina. The reason WA do not have sea pools is because of the low tidal movement to flush them. So how will a sea pool inside a 1.8km breakwall, 1km towards the Beenyup wastewater outfall work?
- We are becoming aware that to help maintain Aboriginal culture it is important to maintain unbuilt natural landscapes such as these in urban areas. The environmental management report brought to your attention a paper written by Watercorp that highlights the importance of maintaining culture by maintaining water quality. The development site has a fresh water course which runs from the Swan Valley to the ocean. You plan to alter this culturally significant watercourse by excavating, compacting and plugging its natural flow. Why did you and those validating this area to be destroyed ignore this paper?
- You have been given the green light to destroy important cultural ground by the Aboriginal Heritage officer who was supposed to protect this from happening. Are you aware of the importance of this area to Aboriginal people as the surveys commissioned for this development only looked for artefacts and the aboriginal people left very few artefacts behind?
- The study you commissioned to justify desecrating these cultural lands said the Aboriginal people would not have used the Ocean Reef Marina site because there was no fresh water, but you are relying on the natural flow of freshwater to flush the Marina. Did you deliberately choose to ignore any facts that indicated the marina area might be important to Aboriginal people?
- DevelopmentWa are a lead developer in this state and I would have thought they would be familiar with Aboriginal culture.The Waughal dreamtime stories tell the story of water flow above and below the ground as far back as when the mainland was joined to Rottnest. Does DevelopmentWa chose not to make themselves aware of the importance of Aboriginal culture when choosing a site to develop?
- The EPA assessment said it was unlikely that Aboriginal people ate abalone. Abalone shells are found in Aboriginal middens elsewhere in the state. There are local aboriginal people who think it is not right to destroy the site for this OR marina because of the significance to them or the knowledge they hold of this site, but no ethnobioligical study was undertaken. In light of the recent uproar of Rio Tinto destroying 2 Aboriginal caves in the Pilbara, do you think it is wise to proceed at Ocean Reef Marina?
State Planning Policies and Strategies:
What is the point of having state planning and environmental policies if DevelopmentWA can flout them and can dispense with Bush Forever designation and A class marine reserves, is this the precedence you set for private developers who may want to do the same thing?
RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS REGARDING OCEAN REEF MARINA
Thank you for your email on behalf of the Save Ocean Reef Citizens Association dated 17
November 2020. We recognise that there are a number of queries. To assist in responding we have categorised the queries under a number of themes. A breakdown of themes is provided as an appendix to this letter.
Balancing the needs of the community
Creating a new marina at Ocean Reef, as with any new development, will result in a change to the environment as locals know it. Some people will welcome this change focusing on the benefits and opportunities it will bring — additional facilities and amenities, enhanced built form, employment opportunities — while others will feel the loss of the place as they know it. And some may feel both.
Extensive consideration and analysis of the social, environmental and economic benefits and impacts has been at the forefront of the City of Joondalup, DevelopmentWA, and the State Government’s decision making on this project. The decision to proceed with Ocean Reef Marina is based on the belief that the overall benefits to the community outweigh the
Accommodating population growth in a way that is sustainable and appropriate is a challenging task for local and state government. A range of factors are considered when determining the most appropriate locations for developments of this kind, including managing the social and environmental impacts and the benefits it will bring to the
community and the economy.
There will be changes to the environment at Ocean Reef Marina. DevelopmentWA take environmental impacts very seriously and has invested significant effort in offsetting these impacts, as well as ongoing monitoring and commitment to environmental management.
The Concept Plan also offers a considerable amount of public open space for the community to enjoy, including places for people to gather, play and recreate.
At every stage of the project, DevelopmentWA along with the City of Joondalup and the State Government consider the benefits as well as the impacts of project decisions. The team consistently seek to enhance the benefits and prevent or minimise any impacts wherever possible. This ensures that DevelopmentWA complies with the stringent environmental and planning approvals required to deliver such a significant project.
The City of Joondalup and DevelopmentWA have undertaken extensive
engagement with the community throughout the life of the project. As with any project, there are a range of diverse views and preferences for Ocean Reef Marina.
DevelopmentWA has worked closely with a range of stakeholders and community members to understand and balance the multiple and at times competing needs and preferences for the project to arrive at the best possible social, environmental and economic outcomes.
A large number of community consultation activities have been undertaken by both the City of Joondalup and DevelopmentWA. Overall, a total of seven community forums and
open days were held between 2013 and 2018, advising local residents of the marina plans. DevelopmentWA has also sought feedback and kept the community informed through forums, surveys, information sessions, workshops and open days. This includes a Community Open Day held in October 2018 which over 2100 community members attended, and a Family Event in November 2020 which over 900 community members attended, the establishment of a Community Reference Group to provide input into the public realm and the establishment of a Construction Working Group.
DevelopmentWA will continue to engage stakeholders and the community throughout the life of the project to obtain input to the detailed design and implementation.
Residential development and building heights
Residential development has always been a core component of the Ocean Reef Marina.
Providing residential dwellings ensures that we create a thriving and sustainable community, as well as the activation needed to support local businesses.
From a residential dwelling perspective the 2009 concept plan included approximately 910 dwellings made up of predominantly apartments but also including single residential and short stay product. Since that time, the number of dwellings proposed as part of the development has increased slightly to around 1000 dwellings. The residential component of the project is now consolidated to the north of the site avoiding conflicts with marine
industry uses, and will deliver a diversity of housing products ranging from single dwellings to townhouses, apartments, and mixed-use sites.
There will be varying elevations throughout the Ocean Reef Marina site once it is developed, providing a range of opportunities to enjoy a sunset over the ocean and a range of ocean views.
The average elevation of the breakwaters once constructed will be approximately 7.36m (Australian Height Datum). On average the Ocean Reef Marina site slopes down from 10mAHD at the newly constructed eastern road to 3mAHD along the water’s edge.
The Ocean Reef Marina project has been in planning for over 30 years. The Bush Forever (Site 325) that Ocean Reef Marina falls within has long been earmarked as a ‘Possible Future Strategic Regional Recreation and Tourism Node’ by the State Government.
Where there are proposed changes to Bush Forever areas, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, on behalf of the Western Australian Planning Commission, require a Negotiated Planning Outcome (NPO). The NPO is an extensive and rigorous process for securing an appropriate conservation outcome and is only considered for priority government initiated projects and important regional development projects.
2017, the State Government appointed DevelopmentWA as the lead agency to deliver In the Ocean Reef Marina project. At that time, DevelopmentWA undertook an extensive review of the project to identify opportunities to improve outcomes within the proposed plan. As a result of this review, a positive environmental amendment resulted including a
significant reduction in the amount of dredging required within the development (a reduction from 79,000m3 in Concept Plan 7.2A to 13,395m3 in the current Concept Plan).
The total project area for the Ocean Reef Marina development has remained consistent with previous concept plans at approximately 66 hectares. In considering the Metropolitan Region Scheme Amendment (MRS), the Environmental Protection Authority determined that the land based environmental component of the Project would be dealt with through the MRS and a Negotiated Planning Outcome (NPO).
Following a 90 day public advertising period, the Western Australian Planning Commission supported the MRS Amendment and associated NPO in November 2019 which included approximately 19 hectares of vegetation clearing on site which is less than the clearing required under previous concept plans. The MRS and NPO identified the need to acquire approximately 23 hectares of offset conservation vegetation to which a larger 26 hectare site has been purchased to satisfy the offset component of the NPO. The NPO also includes commitments to rehabilitate 5 hectares of on-site degraded vegetation.
The Ocean Reef Marina project has involved rigorous environmental assessments and approvals. These have required the impacts to the environment to be thoroughly investigated and strategies put in place to monitor and manage any potential impacts.
Environmental assessment and public consultation of the marine component of the project was undertaken between 2014 and 2019, through a Public Environmental Review (PER), the highest level of state government approval. In 2019, the Minister for Environment approved the proposal subject to stringent conditions including:
• 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 nearshore habitats in the Marmion Marine Park.
Following the PER, Parliament passed the Marmion Park Reserves Bill 2019, to enable a small portion of the Marmion Marine Park to be excised for the new Marina. This will impact on the nearshore reef (12.5 ha), however the majority (over 90%) of the nearshore reef habitat within Marmion Marine Park will continue to provide habitat for marine species.
We are working closely with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), West Coast Abalone Divers Association and Recfishwest to help manage impacts on commercial and recreational abalone license holders. We have also completed the translocation of hundreds of thousands of Roe’s abalone from the site to
nearby reef platforms within the Marmion Marine Park prior to breakwater works commencing.
A Coastal Hazard Risk Management Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) has been prepared to understand and manage coastal hazards associated with the development. As part of this, an assessment of the coastal processes was undertaken to understand the potential impact of the marina expansion on the shoreline north and south of the project area (from Hillary’s Boat Harbour in the south to Mindarie Marina to the north). The modelling
indicated that the expansion of Ocean Reef Marina would have little impact on surrounding beaches. Ongoing monitoring will occur to assess and manage any potential impacts of the development on coastal processes.
Water Corporation’s Ocean Outfall Pipes
The Water Corporation’s Outfall Pipes extend 1.5km west from the Marina development. This is from the present day shoreline. The first diffuser will be 300m from the breakwall.
It discharges wastewater that has undergone stringent treatment at Water Corporation’s Beenyup Waste Water Treatment Plant. Treated waste water is regularly sampled to screen for contaminants that may have an impact on the marine environment.
Furthermore, Water Corporation have implemented a long-term program to monitor the potential effects of the outfall on the marine environment.
In 2019, the Minister for Environment issued a condition on the PER requiring detailed modelling of water quality to assess the impact of the Outfall Pipe on the development.
The extensive modelling undertaken to date indicates that there will be practically no impact on the water quality at the Marina. Extensive water quality monitoring will continue throughout the construction of the project and well into operations to ensure that the water
quality within the project area remains of a high standard.
DevelopmentWA have engaged with Water Corporation throughout the planning of the development, particularly in relation to their Outfall Pipes, and will continue to work closely with the Water Corporation as the project progresses.
The decision to include a coastal pool as part of the marina was in response to significant community support. The concept for a coastal pool has been reviewed by a team of coastal engineers and experts to ensure the design of the pool allows for safe and suitable flushing that meets best practice engineering standards. Water quality monitoring has shown that the naturally occurring inflow of groundwater into the marina environment
will also contribute to the flushing of the marina. The groundwater Nitrogen levels are 12, ie 4 times acceptable levels. How does the ground water still flow when it has been compacted and plugged?
Boat storage and pens
DevelopmentWA are working closely with the Department of Transport to design the marine enterprise precinct to meet the longer-term demands for boat storage and pens in the north Metropolitan area.
The marina has the capacity to accommodate a total of 550 wet pens and a 200 boat dry the stacker to allow for longer-term growth and market trends with boat storage. It is proposed that the initial boat pen construction will commence in 2023. The number of boat pens built on a year-to-year basis will be a commercial decision, driven by the recreational boating environment and pen vacancies in the vicinity at the time.
Ocean Reef Marina Business Case
In July 2017, the State Government approved the Business Case for the Ocean Reef component of Marina and committed to contribute $120M towards the public infrastructure the development and approved DevelopmentWA’s further investment of $132m. The project budget includes allowances to ensure compliance with all environmental approvals and conditions (land and marine).
A summary of the Business Case prepared for the community can be downloaded at https://developmentwa.com.au/documents/401-ocean-reef-marina-summary-business- case-landcorp-iuly-2017/download. This Business Case provides information regarding the strategic context, benefit analysis and financial summary of the project.
The expected sales revenue (Net of selling costs and GST) is approximately $137.2M but will depend on market conditions at the time. More information on this can be found on page 15 of the Summary Business Case.
Employment modelling has been undertaken by an experienced economic consulting firm, and peer reviewed by an experienced third party to determine the estimated jobs that will be created through construction and operations of the project.
The calculations use ABS Input Data (2012-13), Department of Treasury data (2019) and Pracsys modelling to estimate direct and indirect jobs that will be generated as a result of private and public sector investment in the Ocean Reef Marina project.
It is estimated that 8,600 full-time equivalent construction jobs will be generated over the course of the development. These jobs will be in residential/non-residential building construction, heavy and civil engineering construction, construction services and professional, scientific and technical services.
Additionally, there will be approximately 900 jobs created once the marina is operational.
These will be for:
• Retail jobs — This was calculated using retail floorspace to employee ratios marina upon full development. Ratios used are similar to those achieved in high pedestrian traffic areas based on comparison with the Department of Planning,
Lands and Heritage’s Land Use and Employment data and secondary research.
• Marina operations jobs — This was based on the number of boat pens and
national marina statistics. Hillary’s Boat Harbour was used as a benchmark to verify estimates.
• Commercial jobs — This was calculated using commercial floorspace to
employee ratios for the marina upon full development. Ratios are similar to those achieved in inner city office developments based on comparison to DPLH’s Land Use and Employment data and secondary research.
• Food and beverage jobs — This was based on the average food and beverage floorspace to employee ratios. Hillary’s Boat Harbour was used as a benchmark to verify estimates.
Bush Forever, flora and fauna management
DevelopmentWA aim to keep clearing to an absolute minimum. Where clearing cannot be avoided, DevelopmentWA adhere to all required approvals processes, either through a clearing permit to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation or through the Statutory Planning process. All clearing undertaken to date has been within approved footprints and in accordance with all conditions issued.
DevelopmentWA are committed to regenerating native bushland and have implemented periodic seed and cutting collection, which will be supplemented by the use of tube stock to incorporate additional species. This vegetation will be used to revegetate bushland adjacent to Bush Forever and will be integrated into the landscape design and public
The Joondalup Ocean Reef Foreshore Reserve Management Plan will be used as a guide for best practice coastal rehabilitation. The Rehabilitation Plan(s) and activities will also be developed and implemented in consultation with the City of Joondalup and key community groups.
DevelopmentWA are investigating opportunities to provide safe fauna linkages throughout the site. The current concept plan has no provision for a nature bridge however, the most appropriate and effective approach for creating these linkages is currently being explored.
It is recognised that domestic cats are an increased threat to native fauna. Cat ownership is managed by local governments across the State through the Cat Act
- The City of Joondalup also manages cat and other animal ownership through its Animals Local Law 1999 (amended 2018). DevelopmentWA will continue to work closely with the City of Joondalup to discuss pet ownership within the Ocean Reef Marina.
Aboriginal Culture and Heritage
DevelopmentWA recognise that all land is important to Aboriginal people. We are committed to continuing our work with the Whadjuk community on this project and seek to understand and pay respect to Whadjuk history and stories through the development.
In July 2019, the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) reviewed and supported a heritage survey conducted in 2015 for the Ocean Reef Marina site. The heritage survey found no sites of cultural significance, and none are registered with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. SWLASC issued an Activity Notice for the development in 2019 stating that no further surveys were required.
In recognition of the importance of Aboriginal heritage, DevelopmentWA engaged Aboriginal monitors to oversee the clearing associated with the geotechnical investigations and early works in the event of an unexpected find. No heritage or sites of significance were discovered however monitoring will continue as clearing works progress and the appropriate legal and cultural processes will be followed should something
unexpected be discovered.
DevelopmentWA acknowledge that groundwater is important to Aboriginal people and no aspects of the landside development will intersect groundwater or affect groundwater flows. Water quality modelling undertaken as part of the PER shows that groundwater will
naturally occur in the marine environment. DevelopmentWA recognise that the EPA
assessment identified that abalone was a traditional food source for Aboriginal people however the impact of their fishing on Abalone stock was negligible.
Since early 2020, DevelopmentWA have engaged Yunga Foundation, an Aboriginal owned and lead business, to work closely with local Whadjuk people to obtain their input to the Ocean Reef Marina project. Yunga Foundation have met with a dedicated reference group of Traditional Owners who can speak to the cultural significance and stories of the Ocean Reef area and also held meetings with the Whadjuk Working Party (a
body that represents 43 Whadjuk families in Perth).
Yunga Foundation’s role is not to provide approval or endorsement for a project. Their role is to facilitate engagement with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal people to ensure Ocean Reef Marina is a place where the Whadjuk culture is celebrated through landscape design, art, language, business, and interpretive spaces — where connection to country
will be reflected through Aboriginal business and job opportunities.
Thank you for raising these questions. Please get in contact with us if you would like to meet to discuss any of these in more detail.