|3 September 2019
Following several years of comprehensive investigation, business planning, statutory planning and liaison with a range of stakeholders (including the State Government), West Coast Council is now poised to implement the Macquarie Heads Expansion Project.
With all strategic and statutory planning work completed, a Planning Permit obtained and additional funding secured through a generous grant from the Parks and Wildlife Service, Council is ready to develop the range of improvements that will help drive more tourists to the area, and enhance the precinct for existing users, with better infrastructure to bring the facility in line with modern requirements, while improving the overall safety of the area for all users.
West Coast Council hosted a BBQ event at the Macquarie Heads Campground on the weekend, to showcase the preliminary concepts and designs for the planned expansion project and to seek feedback before finalising the detailed plans.
Around 40 people attended the BBQ event (including Permit Holders, Parks and Wildlife staff, Councillors and MAST). Participants were invited to view the preliminary plans and concepts created in line with the Masterplan phase, and were asked to provide their feedback, before Council looks to finalise the design phase of the project shortly.
Those attending were able to view some detailed concepts and designs and hear about:
• the establishment of a central Car Park facility capable of taking up to 25 car and boat trailer combinations, with some individual car spots available as well;
• a new waste disposal area (adjacent to the caretaker’s residence) that meets all current environmental standards;
• an expanded camping area capable of adding an additional 53 sites to the precinct; or a combination of additional caravan sites, with some further day camping options;
• two new toilet facilities, comprising a hybrid system designed for environmentally sensitive waste disposal (i.e. septic with gravity fed sub-surface hybrid secondary treatment systems);
• upgrades to Macquarie Heads Road site line visibility and marking (to include speed limit signage etc);
• the potential for traffic calming treatments to improve safety for pedestrians; and
• the potential for further Marine Infrastructure upgrades in the future.
Mayor Vickers said: “The Council spent several years looking into ways we can improve outcomes at Macquarie Heads. We undertook detailed business planning and implemented a range of changes to the way we run the facility and how we look at providing a cost-effective operation into the future. The Expansion Project itself has been well designed to meet current and future needs, and the process has not been rushed.
Council budgeted some funds originally and sought additional funding from the Parks and Wildlife Service. With their generous grant of $200,000 towards the project, Council now looks forward to the construction phase being implemented soon and the whole project being finished before Easter if possible. Councillors are also keen to see local contractors involved in the project wherever possible.”
Timing for completion of the project is heavily dependent on weather, and Council is also aware that with the popularity of the area continuing to draw in large numbers of users every year during peak seasons, the various construction elements of the project will need to be closely managed and in some cases staggered, to avoid negative impacts on recreational users.
Council’s General Manager David Midson said: “Council is committed to providing a cost-effective and sustainable outcome for all business operations it controls, and the Macquarie Heads precinct is no exception. Planning into this Expansion Project has been comprehensive and the community has been engaged throughout the process.
The improvements will lift the quality of what’s on offer in the area not just for locals, but for the many visitors we get to this beautiful area every year.”