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 previous café facility and adjacent toilets had become unfit for use
- The previous café facility faced away from the river so didnot optimise the use of the surrounding space and views. This offered a substantial opportunity to upgrade the facility and create a unique destination
- There were also issues with the boat ramp having reached the end of its useful life, and 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 have taken place in stages and included river foreshore erosion prevention, a new café and changing room facility, playground improvements, boat ramp, parking and park furniture.
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.
The City recognises there is a very high demand for parking at the site and is currently working to resolve this. Options to increase parking for single vehicle bays are being explored and considered.
Further parking options along The Esplanade are also being investigated however would be subject to safety assessments. Once installed, the City would seek to monitor and review parking demand at the site on an ongoing basis into the future.
The City will seek to promote a travel plan to the community. This will not only assist visitors to identify their parking options at and around the site but also promote alternative TravelSmart initiatives such as walking and cycling in line with the City’s efforts to promote Healthy Lifestyles.
The boat ramps have been designed in accordance with the Department of Transport’s Boat Ramp Guidelines.
The ski area is very close to the jetty at Deep Water Point therefore the jetty has been shortened to make it less intrusive.
The ladders have been designed in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards including AS1657 and the Department of Transport’s guidelines for the design of boat launching facilities. Curved ladder styles are not practical for finger jetties at boat ramps due to the limited width of the jetty. These would take up further space and obstruct the main walkway.
The jetties have been designed to be usable all year round. The tides are much lower in summer which makes the jetties appear to be too high. In winter the tides are generally much higher and coupled with storm surges would make the jetties unusable.
While the boat ramps have been upgraded, they have been designed to make them safer and more efficient for launching from, as opposed to getting more boats in the water. Both Point Walter and Deep Water Point Reserves cater for a mix of users. The City must balance parking between boat trailers parking and single user cars. While there may be an opportunity to review the configuration of the space currently available, there is no way we can take away valuable recreation space to provide more car or boat/trailer bays.
The City originally had planned to dedicate lanes to launching and retrieval, however, experience across other boat ramps has shown that users are best left to self-manage these functions. For example, in the morning it may be more expedient to launch from both lanes and retrieve from both in the afternoon. Wind conditions may also make one lane more preferable than the other at certain times.
There has always been a charge for boat trailer parking at both Deep Water Point and Point Walter. Nothing has changed.
The City has no plans to install lighting at this stage.