Since 2013 the City of Melville has been working to improve and enhance the recreational purposes of Deep Water Point for the community, while still maintaining and protecting the natural environment. A number of factors contributed to this:
- The foreshore had high levels of erosion with severe loss of beach and was struggling to provide a recreational function
- The current café facility (café now closed) and adjacent toilets had become unfit for use
- The café facility faces away from the river so does not optimise the use of the surrounding space and views. This offers a substantial opportunity to upgrade the facility and create a unique destination
- There are also issues with the boat ramp having reached the end of its useful life, and a community demand for a finger jetty.
In 2013, the City developed a draft Concept Plan for the upgrade of Deep Water Point to address the issue of river foreshore erosion, create a new jetty and café, and to improve the playground, boat ramp, parking and park furniture.
The idea of the Concept Plan was to present some initial ideas for the upgrade that would allow the community to provide feedback. The community was asked to provide feedback on opportunities and ideas to upgrade the site such as improving the café, updating facilities and better utilization of the surrounds by better positioning towards the river.
Specifically the community was asked:
- What do you like about Deep Water Point?
- What would you do to improve the area?
- Have we overlooked anything so far?
In addition to a community BBQ held at Deep Water Point on Saturday, 9 November 2013, an online feedback option was also available to encourage and collect community feedback on the plan.
Following input from the community, a number of upgrades were identified in a Concept Plan for Deep Water Point and have now been planned for the site. In 2014, a new Deep Water Point jetty was opened. The original jetty had been closed to the public since 2011 due to its advanced age and many years of exposure to wind, sun and rain, causing the jetty to become unsafe.
In 2016, the City received $110,000 in grant funding from the Disability Services Commission for a specialised ‘changing place’ which will see the current change rooms converted to accessible public toilets, with the addition of a separate ‘Changing Place’ facility that will include a full sized change table and hoists. The upgrades will take place in stages and will include river foreshore erosion prevention, a new café and changing room facility, playground improvements, boat ramp, parking and park furniture.
The boat ramp will be closed during the upgrade, however all other facilities will be available.
Dome Group was selected as a preferred proponent from the Public Request for Proposal (RFP 01/14) process. This was a process previously endorsed by Council and which the City undertook in February 2014, to seek submissions in relation to the redevelopment and operation of a new café facility at Deep Water Point Reserve.
Dome was the only proponent who outlined a plan to build and operate a café on the site and had a clear vision as to how the facility would benefit the community and provide amenity. Previous attempts for small businesses to lease and operate the café at Deep Water Point Reserve have been unsuccessful and it was difficult for the City to find a café operator that could meet both the community’s expectations and compliment this Deep Water Point site with all its potential.