Community feedback for the proposed Elizabeth Bay Marina upgrade will close this Sunday and I encourage all locals and those who use the facility on the harbour, to have your say.
Many locals I have spoken with concede the structure does indeed need upgrading, with parts of the jetty deteriorating over the last 100 years and with recent storms and king tides rising above the current floor, destroying some of the facility. Further, the ad-hoc changes over many decades has resulted in a less-than-appealing appearance of the structure on the edge of this beautiful harbour-side location.
While the RMS will earn money from additional private berths by extending the marina, the facility must not be simply driven for private use.
What is conspicuously missing in this proposal though is the lack of public transport (ferry) integration, with the greatest opportunity in decades to ensure the infrastructure is in place for the future, being lost.
This opportunity to link the ferry network to Elizabeth Bay, an incredibly dense urban area of Sydney, must be part of the overall design brief and there are locals petitioning the Government to do just that.
I encourage you to sign the Elizabeth Bay Ferry petition, which is being collected in person by volunteers at the regular Saturday Kings Cross Markets. (It is not online as online petitions cannot be submitted for debate in NSW Parliament, only manually signed petitions, so any help collecting signatures would be appreciated).
The extension of the marina further into the harbour is also an environmental concern, both at the building and operational stage, and the community expects the strictest environmental standards to be applied to the project at all times.
A number of locals have also raised concern about access.
Firstly, the maintaining of public access to the tidal beaches is paramount to the enjoyment of anyone enjoying the bay. Any restriction to these beaches will be fiercely opposed, and rightly so.
Secondly, there is an expectation that the entirety of the marina’s pontoons will be security gated and the public prevented from accessing the harbour.
Lastly on access, if the cafe also has all the harbour viewing space at the end of the jetty, there is concern the pubic will be discouraged from the space unless they are customers, effectively privatising the jetty.
Restricted access is clearly not acceptable to the public at large and I encourage you to mention all these concerns in your feedback.
You can make your online submission via the link HERE.
If you wish to sign or collect signatures for the Elizabeth Bay Ferry petition, please send a message HERE.
What are we proposing?
Roads and Maritime is proposing to upgrade the marina. The key features of this proposal include:
- A modern multipurpose marina to replace the current dilapidated structure
- The marina floor will be built 80 centimetres higher than the existing floor to avoid flooding during storm events and king tides
- Under cover storage of kayaks will improve security and help prevent weathering
- The café and seating area has been retained and placed at the end of the marina so users and visitors can enjoy views of the bay
- New accessible toilet facilities and ramp access, making the Marina Disability Discrimination Act compliant
- New locker facilities for marina users
- Repositioned berths in deep water to avoid boats being at risk in low tides
- A new public destination berth for use by the wider maritime boating public
- Ecologically sustainable development features including solar panels, rainwater tanks, vertical garden and reuse of timber where possible
- Providing a new sewerage pump out berth.