A much-anticipated project in Paynesville is progressing, with the Slip Road Maritime Precinct concept plans recently updated based on community feedback.
The upgrade of the five-hectare site, which is Crown Reserve foreshore, includes seawalls, boardwalks, a second boat ramp, flood protection works, landscaping, a refresh for the toilet/shower block and new berthing facilities for a number of activities.
Community consultation on the draft concept plan resulted in some changes to the plan. During the consultation, there were over 300 visits to council’s website and over 50 people attended the ‘drop-in sessions’ at the Slip Road boat ramp.
Council also held meetings with the marine industry and residents of Mariner’s Quay and received calls and emails directly from the community.
A total of 88% of respondents from the website supported the proposal. Over half of those who attended the drop-in sessions wanted to maximise parking, especially at the southern end adjacent to the existing boat marina.
The community wanted to reduce the amount of inundation around the boat ramp. Many people supported the concept of a footbridge across the canal to Paynesville but there were concerns about maintaining safe exit for boats through the canal.
As a result of feedback, the updated concept plan includes increased parking, additional landscaping to provide shade and improve the water quality of runoff flowing to the lake. The bund that was a feature of the original plan has been removed to create more parking, and ground levels around the boat ramp will be increased to reduce periodic flooding of the site.
To assist the separation of marine industry and the public, it is proposed to add a second boat ramp next to the Gippsland Ports site rather than widen the existing ramp.
Mayor Cr Mendy Urie said further investigations will be undertaken on the possibility of an openable bridge or tunnel across the canal. This element of the project won’t be considered through early delivery stages and is not currently funded.
Further community and stakeholder consultation would also be undertaken before any form of crossing is advanced.
“In the meantime, Council will upgrade the footpath to King Street bridge, improve the laneway surface and sign the area to help pedestrians and cyclists find their way to the central business district. Detailed design works is underway and work is expected to begin in the second half of 2021,” Cr Urie said.
The original concept plan was developed by GHD with the advice of a Project Reference Group made up of:
The Victorian Government, through its Building Works Package, has committed $1.1m and the Australian Government has committed $1m through its Regional Recovery Partnership for improvements at the site which means that many elements of the plan can be implemented over the next 12–18 months.
Further information on these upgrades will be provided on a regular basis.