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Town planning lodged for the Queenscliff boat ramp upgrade

The Queenscliff boating facility upgrade is one step closer as a town planning application has been formally lodged with the Borough of Queenscliffe.

A formal town planning advertising period will run from November 30th to December 16th. We’ll also be hosting an online Q & A session on December 10th at 2pm and 6pm where we welcome you to meet the design team and ask any questions you may have.

Pending obtaining a town planning permit, we’ll progress the process with a view to construct outside of the peak boaiting season in 2021.

You can view the upgrade design and all supporting information on the Borough of Queenscliffe website here. The application is listed as: 1 Hesse Street, Queenscliff (JL Jordan Reserve – boat ramp), application 2020/07.

Where can I see the upgrade design?

You can view and download the upgrade design HERE.

How can I find out more information about the upgrade?

We will be running online Q & A sessions on December 10th at 2pm and 6pm. These will run for 1 hour each and allow the community to ask questions about the statutory town planning process for the upgrade of the ramp.

Why is the Queenscliff boating facility getting an upgrade?

The Victorian Government identified six facilities that need priority upgrades. This was based on advice from various stakeholders including the boating community. These locations were: Rhyll, Hastings, Mordialloc, Queenscliff, Point Richards and the Cowes Jetty.

These locations are popular boating facilities that need to meet future recreational boating demands and more pressure as Melbourne’s population grows.

How has the community been involved?

Late last year, Better Boating Victoria developed and tested two upgrade concept designs with the Queenscliff and broader boating community at two dedicated drop-in events on Wednesday 30 October and Saturday 30 November, and an online consultation between Saturday 30 November and Monday 9 December 2019. We received significant feedback and used it to inform the final design concept, released in June 2020, that the boating and fishing community and Borough of Queenscliffe support.

After we released the final concept design in June 2020, we engaged more with stakeholders to further improve the functionality and safety of the boat ramp and the proposed kayak launch area. We have accommodated this feedback and updated the original concept design to reflect these improvements. The updated design is available to view here and will form the basis of the formal town planning process.

Queenscliff boat ramp

Need more info? Check out our FAQs below:

What’s been updated since the initial concept design that was released in June?

After we released the final concept design in June 2020, we engaged more with stakeholders to further improve the functionality and safety of the boat ramp and the proposed kayak launch area. We have accommodated this feedback and updated the original concept design to reflect these improvements. The updated design is now available to view here and will form the basis of the formal town planning process.

Why have the pontoon arrangements been changed from the initial concept?

Ramp users told us the proposed middle lane in the concept would be challenging to use for inexperienced and solo boaters. We have incorporated a smaller pontoon to ensure that all lane users have immediate access to a walkway. In addition, lanes will be a minimum of 4m width and clearly marked and the pontoons will be increased in length with associated dredging to allow for larger vessels. Tie off points on the central pontoon will be limited to reduce risk of bottlenecks on these lanes.

Why has the kayak ramp been moved?

Stakeholder feedback highlighted that a kayak launch ramp on the west side of the boat ramp will reduce risk of conflict between non-powered and powered vessels. We know that boat traffic launching at the ramp automatically departs east down ‘the cut’. Moving the kayak launch west minimises that interface with these vessels.

Why aren’t you adding a fourth ramp?

The boat ramp upgrade must remain within the existing footprint. The main aim of the upgrade is to make launching and retrieval more efficient and improve traffic flows. A third lane with re-arranged pontoons, improved car park flows, and formalised additional car parking will improve efficiencies at the Queenscliff facility.

Is a fish cleaning table included?

A preferred location for a fish cleaning table has been identified next to the public toilets. We are working with the Victorian Fisheries Authority on this and will continue consultation and design work to finalise a suitable solution.

Why is a lookout deck included in a boat ramp design?

A look out deck has been included on the west of the facility for boaters and community members. This is currently a provisional item subject to identifying future funding opportunities.

Why is there a formal town planning process?

A town planning permit is required to undergo any construction works at the Queenscliff boat ramp location. This is due to various planning overlays that require a formal permit. This process can take several weeks, including an advertising period of 16 days where members of the public can submit feedback and support for the project before being considered and approved by the Borough of Queenscliffe.

What’s happening next?

A formal town planning advertising period will run from November 30th to December 16th. We’ll be hosting a question and answer session on December 10th at 2pm and 6pm where we welcome you to meet the design team and ask any questions you may have. Once we’ve received our town planning permit, we’ll progress the next steps which include tendering the construction works.

How can I view the planning application?

You can view the design and all supporting information on the Borough of Queenscliffe website here. The application is listed as: 1 Hesse Street, Queenscliff (JL Jordan Reserve – boat ramp), application 2020/07.

How has the community been involved in the project?

We developed and tested two upgrade concept designs with the community at two dedicated drop-in events on Wednesday 30 October and Saturday 30 November, and an online consultation between Saturday 30 November and Monday 9 December 2019. This level of early engagement is unprecedented when it comes to upgrading boat ramps, and a key reason for holding it was because we wanted to involve the community from the outset.

The event and online consultation were promoted widely online and advertised in key local press. The event was attended by around 180 people and 65 people completed the online consultation and gave us written feedback. We received significant feedback and used it to inform the final design concept, released in June 2020, that the boating and fishing community and Borough of Queenscliffe support. Since then, we’ve continued to engage with boating and community stakeholders to further improve the design.

When will the upgrade start?

We are currently aiming to begin construction outside of the busy boating season in 2021.

Who will be managing the upgrade project?

Better Boating Victoria is partnering with the Borough of Queenscliffe to deliver this upgrade.

How much is the project costing?

At this stage, the cost for the upgrade is unknown and will be informed by detailed design. Further information will be provided when available.
Will we get regular updates to let us know where things are at? There will be updates on the progress of the Queenscliff boating facility upgrade project. Better Boating Victoria will work with the Borough of Queenscliff to ensure updates are promoted through our communications channels.

Who will be responsible for maintaining this asset?

Management of the Queenscliff boating facility is currently the responsibility of Borough of Queenscliff Council.

Will the upgrade have any impact on coastal inundation?

A specialist coastal engineer was engaged to investigate this issue. They have reported that adding an additional lane will have no impact on current inundation levels. The area of car park adjacent to the boat ramp will be raised by approx. 250mm to account for estimated sea level rise over the design life of the facility.

Will the upgrade be consistent with the Queenscliff amenity?

We have been working closely with the Queenscliff community groups and boating stakeholders to ensure the upgrade is consistent with community expectations of how the project should look and feel.

How will the upgrade improve car parking?

The upgrade will involve formalising the overflow car parking area to create 89 dedicated car boat trailer unit spaces in total at the site. We received some useful feedback about how we could improve the proposed car parking. However, we are limited in our ability to expand the car park beyond the current envelope because of residential housing, a railway lease and Swan Bay.

Will the upgrade improve the congestion issues at Queenscliff?

An additional ramp lane, a central pontoon and widening all ramp lanes to 4 metres will facilitate more efficient launching and retrieval. In addition, we’ve added a dedicated boat rigging lane and added lane marking to improve circulation.

Will I be able to launch my unpowered vessel?

The upgrade will include the provision of a dedicated kayak launch ramp in a shallow area with its own drop-off and pick-up car parking spaces.

How will the carparking be monitored to ensure it’s used correctly, and that single car parking does not take up boat trailer bays?

We will be working with local laws authorities to ensure that adequate signage with clear instructions for motorists and boaters is installed as part of the upgrade. Dedicated single car park bays are provided within the design and restrictions placed on single cars parking in boat trailer bays.

Working toward environmental approvals

Consents will be required under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 (MACA), which is directed by Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) in Victoria. The design of the boating facility has accommodated the environmental sensitivity of Swan Bay and this information will be provided to support an application for MACA consent. Should approval be granted the consent will ensure no neighbouring marine habitat and environment is damaged as part of the works. This is a state level requirement defined in law and all prerequisites must be satisfied before consent is granted.

Swan Bay is an area of environmental significance and we are working with environmental specialists to develop a dredging plan that eliminates any risk to surrounding coastal habitat.

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