Home> boat ramp upgrades> st leonards

St Leonards

As part of the Victorian Government’s investment into making it easier to get out on the water, St Leonards has been identified for future upgrades.

The St Leonards boat ramp is a 4-lane ramp located in the southern part of Port Phillip on the Bellarine Peninsula. The concrete boat ramp has an associated, fixed jetty, a car park, toilets, fish cleaning table and an overflow carpark. This facility is managed by Bellarine Bayside Committee of Management.

FSC Range has been engaged to create concepts and detailed designs for the upgraded facility. Click here to view the draft concept design.

Community consultation was undertaken on the draft concept and closed on January 13, 2023. We’ll review the feedback from boaters and the community and revise the designs accordingly.

Community engagement

In April 2022, BBV invited the community to complete a survey to inform an understanding of  how the facility can be improved. We heard from nearly 500 respondents who told us St Leonards needed some work to be more functional.

Click here to read the consultation report card.

Some of the issues identified include the need for wave protection, with 40% of respondents identifying that as an issue.

Other themes included the need for improvements to the existing jetty, more berths, more parking and measures to reduce queueing during busy periods.

The feedback was given to FSC Range to help with preparing concept designs.

Concept planning

BBV appointed FSC Range to develop a concept plan and detailed design for the St Leonards facility. Initial meetings were held with key management agencies including Bellarine Bayside Committee of management,  City of Greater Geelong, DELWP, Parks Victoria and  the Victorian Fisheries Authority. BBV is also engaging with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation.

Since then, a draft concept design has been developed. The concept design includes an extension to the t-piece of the existing jetty, replacement and new installation of wave screens, unsealed overflow carparking adjacent to current formalised car park and alterations to the approach lane into the car park. This new design would make the facility significantly more accessible by reducing wave impact to boats launching and retrieving.

Click here to view the design.

Click here to view a wave simulation.

Detailed design

FSC Range will prepare detailed designs following community feedback. These designs will be presented to Bellarine Bayside Committee of Management, the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation,  City of Greater Geelong, DELWP, Parks Victoria and the Victorian Fisheries Authority for endorsement. The designs will be shared with the public when finalised.

Construction

Dates of works including ramp and car park closures will be advised.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the St Leonards boat ramp getting an upgrade?

St Leonards is one of the most popular ramps within the Bellarine Peninsula boat ramp network. Due to increasing demand and the age of the facility it has been identified as a priority for upgrading to improve its functionality and increase its capacity through the Victorian Recreational Boating Strategy.

What’s happened already?

Experienced civil and maritime engineers FSC Range were engaged to undertake concept and detailed design earlier in 2022.

Better Boating Victoria held an online survey to better understand what boaters and broader community thought of the St Leonards boat ramp, the problems they had using it and what they valued as part of the precinct. The survey received 476 responses which have been summarised in the survey report card on the web page www.betterboating.vic.gov.au/ramp-upgrades/st-leonards/

Based on the outcomes of the survey and the known social, cultural and environmental values of the area, FSC Range have developed a concept plan for the proposed future upgrade of the facility which aims to improve the functionality of the ramp and surrounding infrastructure.

What are the key features of the proposed upgrade?

The draft concept features provision of concrete panel wave screens along a new central jetty extending seawards along with an extended ‘T’ on the end that will also incorporate wave screens to provide shelter from onshore wind and waves.

A new seasonal overflow boat and trailer car park is proposed for the foreshore immediately adjacent to the boat ramp, which is in additional to the existing formal sealed car park and overflow car park located across the road.

The new seasonal overflow boats and trailer car park will also feature an alternate entrance providing a much longer queue which will draw vehicles and trailers off the main road and into the facility to address road safety issues.

What is being done to reduce the impacts of waves?

The provision of wave screens along the central jetty and the extended ‘T’ on the end,  will provide shelter from onshore wind and waves.

Customised wave screens specifically tuned to the waves such as these have been used effectively around Australia and the world and provide an effective way of managing wind driven waves whilst also respecting the natural coastal processes and sand movement along the coast.

Click here to view a wave simulation summary.

Why isn’t a break wall of enclosed harbour being considered?

A break wall or harbour would have significant impacts on sand transport along this stretch of coastline likely leading to significant erosion along the shore elsewhere.

A break wall or harbour would also have a significant impact on the visual amenity of the area, which is valued by the local community.

Will there be any lanes added to the ramp?

No new lanes are being proposed at this time. The ramp is currently serviced by four lanes and consultation earlier in the project with the boat ramp users and the wider community confirmed no additional lanes were deemed necessary.

Will there be any changes or upgrades to the jetty?

Yes, the main jetty extending seaward will be upgraded and the ‘T’ on the end of the jetty will be extended out further on both sides. Detailed design stages will inform the height of the jetty to ensure that it isn’t too high for boater to get in and out of their boats. Fenders will also be included in the new jetty to protect boats which are temporarily moored alongside.

Why aren’t floating pontoons being considered?

The wave climate at this ramp isn’t suitable to floating pontoons which would be quickly damaged by the wind-driven waves along this stretch of coastline.

Will I be able to continue to fish from the end of the jetty?

Land based fishers will be able to continue to fish from the end of the jetty, however the jetty’s primary function is to support the boat ramp so fishers are advised give way to vessels, which will be regularly berthing alongside.

What sized boats will be able to use this facility?

While the facility will generally cater for small to medium vessels, the design will enable boats up to 8 metres in length to launch from this site. Car and boat trailer parks have been designed according to Australian Standards and the Victorian Boating Facility Maintenance and Design Guidelines.

Are there plans to increase the number of car and trailer parks?

A new seasonal overflow boat and trailer car park is proposed for the foreshore immediately adjacent to the boat ramp which is in additional to the existing formal sealed car park and overflow car park located across the road.

The seasonal overflow car park is anticipated to provide up to 36 new dedicated car and trailer boat spaces during peak periods which will almost double the dedicated car/trailer parks throughout the facility.

What’s being done to take queued cars and trailers off the road during peak periods?

The new seasonal overflow boat and trailer car park will also feature an alternate entrance providing a much longer queue which will draw vehicles and trailers off the main road and into the facility to address road safety issues.

Are there any plans to remove the fish cleaning table?

No. There are currently no plans to remove the fish cleaning table.

Are there any plans to remove the large cypress trees along this section of the foreshore?

Yes. As part of the Better Boating Victoria-funded project, Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management are proposing to remove the five mature trees within the proposed new overflow parking area. It is proposed that an additional two trees within the existing asphalt carpark and one on the north side of the asphalt carpark near the toilet block will also be removed, pending approvals. Trees will be replaced with native coastal species endemic to the area, which will be incorporated into a wider landscape plan for the precinct.

Why are the trees being removed?

All of the mature trees within this section of the foreshore are non-native Monterey Cypress (Hesperocyporis macrocarpa). An arborist report provided on behalf of the Bellarine Bayside Committee of Management determined that the Cypress trees are nearing their end of effective life and as such the risk rating the trees are presenting, particularly the areas the public congregates around is increasing. Mature Cyprus trees in this area along the foreshore have had several near misses with the public in recent times.

Will the trees be replaced?

Yes. As part of the project, Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee intends to replace the cypress trees and offset them with native coastal species endemic to the area, which will be incorporated into a wider landscape plan for the precinct. The cypress trees provide shade and add to the amenity of the location however these values with be offset and replaced.

Another area on the foreshore nearby has been recently re-planted by Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee of Management. This revegetation project has been well received by the local community and traditional owners and is similar to what is being proposed for this project.

Will the cultural and environmental values be protected?

As part of the project Better Boating Victoria and Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee will undertake a cultural heritage due diligence assessment and may develop a cultural heritage management plan to ensure the cultural values of this area are protected and respected.

BBV is actively engaging with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on the proposed upgrade as it proceeds.

A Marine and Coastal Act consent application will also be developed which will outline how the coastal and environmental values of this area will be maintained.

What’s the future of the overflow carpark in Charles McCarthy Reserve adjacent to the boat ramp?

The City of Greater Geelong’s Charles McCarthy Reserve masterplan incorporates provision for overflow car parking within the reserve. There are no plans to review the masterplan or the provision of overflow car parking within the reserve.

I’m not a boater but I regularly walk/ride along the along this section of coastline. What impact will the proposed upgrade have on me?

Very little. The coastal trail which runs along this section of coastline and through the boat ramp facility will be maintained enabling unrestricted access for pedestrians. Some minor alterations may be made to the crossover such as provision of zebra crossings at the boat ramp to ensure boaters give way to pedestrians using the trail.

Will the community get to view and provide input on the proposed designs?

Yes, boat ramp users and members of the wider community are encouraged to provide feedback through the online survey which can be accessed via the Better Boating Victoria consultation page at www.betterboating.vic.gov.au/consultation

How can I keep up to date with updates on this project?

Updates will be provided on the Better Boating Victoria website.

What are the next steps and when will construction begin?

BBV and Bellarine Bayside Foreshore Committee will consult on concept plans and will progress detailed designs and approvals to facilitate construction throughout 2023.  Construction will be subject to approvals and available funding.

Return to top Maribyrnong River Upgrade

Our Current Ramp Upgrades

View All Ramp Upgrades