Ocean Reef Marina, Perth Western Australia

DevelopmentWA’s Ocean Reef Marina (ORM) is the largest and one of the most challenging coastal projects ever to be undertaken in Western Australia, involving significant expansion of the existing Ocean Reef Boat Harbour (ORBH) into a world-class waterfront precinct and recreational, boating and tourism facility.

RPS technical expertise informed a Public Environmental Review (PER) of the ORM concept plan by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) of Western Australia under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. EPA assessment requirements were detailed in an environmental scoping document (ESD), in response to which RPS investigated aspects concerning potential impacts of the proposed development on marine water quality.

With the necessary consents received and construction now underway, a marina project first conceptualised in the 1980s will benefit from application of today’s commercial, recreational and residential development standards to ensure it meets the needs of Perth’s expanding northern metropolitan development corridor.

Ocean Reef Marina, Perth Western Australia

“In completing the water quality modelling for the Ocean Reef Marina project RPS demonstrated a degree of experience and thoroughness not often observed on such challenging projects. Moreover, the communication, level of service and responsiveness throughout the project was excellent.” Clint Doak, MPRA

A long anticipated development

Obtaining approvals from government authorities to construct a development on the scale of the ORM project is a challenging task. As a long-anticipated plan in close proximity to the sensitive and protected Marmion Marine Park and commercial fisheries, the project has invited much public scrutiny and raised many technical challenges. Some complex and innovative engineering practices were required, both onshore and offshore, to achieve sustainable development outcomes.

A successful approvals pathway required the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process to be conducted carefully and be informed at all times by sound technical advice. Objective, accurate and thorough assessments of the potential impacts to the marine environment resulting from construction and operation of the ORM facilities were a critical component of this process.

Ocean Reef Marina, Perth Western Australia

Project details

RPS was engaged by MP Rogers & Associates (MPRA) to undertake detailed assessments of marine water quality to support the EIA for the project.

Client
MP Rogers & Associates

Title
Ocean Reef Marina

Location
Perth, Western Australia

Period
2011-2019

RPS provided the following technical services in support of the EIA:

  • Development, calibration and validation of a hydrodynamic model for simulation and prediction of water quality impacts attributable to marina construction and operations.
  • Development, calibration and validation of a spectral wave model.
  • Modelling of sediment dispersion during construction activities.
  • Ecological modelling.
  • Assessment of flushing rates.
  • Assessment of contaminant discharges.
  • Nearshore coastal assessment.
  • Abalone habitat assessment.
  • Assessment of climate change scenarios.

Key challenges

RPS has deep expertise in the delivery of technical studies to guide the preparation of EIA documentation. Our team of project managers and technical experts brought a comprehensive understanding of a range of potential marine environmental impacts to meet the challenges of the ORM project.

Four principal issues were addressed by RPS’ strategic application of water quality modelling:

  • Determination of the natural flushing characteristics of the proposed marina.
  • Characterisation of the dispersion, deposition and accumulation of sediments and contaminants from marine-based construction and maintenance activities.
  • Analysis of the effect of outflows from the marina on the water quality of the surrounding marine environment.
  • Prediction of the algal response to changes in marine water quality within both the marina and the broader marine environment.

Owing to the project’s close proximity to the Marmion Marine Park, the potential effects on adjacent abalone habitats and resilience to climate change were also carefully analysed.

Construction consented

Following a detailed and stringent approvals process, including extensive peer review of RPS’ technical studies, DevelopmentWA received EPA consent to proceed with the ORM project in 2019 and construction commenced in 2020. At all stages of the EIA review process, RPS provided close support to MPRA in preparing evidenced responses to EPA queries and authoring additional documents.

A detailed Coastal Hazard Risk Management Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) has been prepared to identify, assess, and mitigate coastal risks associated with the development. In a related effort, DevelopmentWA and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) are working to relocate 100,000 Roe’s abalone stock to protect the future sustainability of the species. This will be the largest relocation project undertaken in Australia.

A landmark project

Construction of the twin breakwaters (each 2 km in length) and reclamation zones will require 590,000 m3 of material to be placed and approximately 100,000 m3 of sand and rock to be dredged. The natural flushing time scale of the marina was calculated to be less than one week, sufficient to maintain high water quality and low algal growth.

This landmark project is expected to attract more than $650m in private sector investment, and create 8,600 construction jobs and more than 900 ongoing jobs for Western Australians.

The marina will have capacity for:

550
boat pens
200
boat stackers
12,000m2
retail and commercial space
>5
hectares of community space

Key people

David Wright

David Wright

Manager – Perth, Ocean Science & Technology T: +61 8 9211 1111 Email
View profile »
Perth - West Perth | Australia
Ryan Alexander

Ryan Alexander

Environmental Engineer T: +61 8 9211 1111 Email
Perth - West Perth | Australia
Nuala Page

Nuala Page

Senior Coastal Engineer T: +61 8 9211 1111 Email
Perth - West Perth | Australia

Project timeline

  • 2011

    RPS first engaged to develop a hydrodynamic model framework for the marina

  • 2014

    RPS Phase 1 scoping assessments completed

  • 2017

    RPS Phase 2 modelling assessments completed

  • 2019

    EPA approval for construction

  • 2020

    Construction commenced

  • 2022

    Breakwater due for completion

  • 2029

    Civil construction due for completion

  • 2036

    Full build-out of ORM expected

1 /08
2011

RPS first engaged to develop a hydrodynamic model framework for the marina

2014

RPS Phase 1 scoping assessments completed

2017

RPS Phase 2 modelling assessments completed

2019

EPA approval for construction

2020

Construction commenced

2022

Breakwater due for completion

2029

Civil construction due for completion

2036

Full build-out of ORM expected

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