Marina project set to start in late 2016
Plans for the long-discussed Dampier marina are very much afloat, with construction on the project scheduled to start as soon as at the end of this year.
Dampier’s Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club has been working on designs for a 100-pen, non-cyclone-proof facility in front of the harbour since early 2014.
Club commodore John Lally said now the feasibility survey had been completed, the project would enter a more practical phase this year, with a geotechnical investigation of the ocean floor and lease transfer negotiations to start soon.
“The next stage is to do geotechnical drilling on the bottom to see what’s down there for pile driving and dredging,” he said.
“We’ve had consultants working on it now for a year. We’re a year on and getting close, so we expect, if all goes well, to start the project at the end of this year.”
Mr Lally said once the geotechnical work had been done, the construction process would take only about eight to 10 months.
He said a marina would activate tourism in Dampier, which has the highest per-capita boat ownership rate in Australia.
“It’s not easy to operate a boat out of Dampier with the current amenities because there’s not the facilities here to get passengers on and off,” he said.
“It can get really rough out there in the harbour.”
“If you can come into an area where it’s calm, it will encourage charter boat operators.”
Another step will be to transfer lease ownership over the land from Rio Tinto to the City of Karratha.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the City would become involved with the marina then and also develop the harbour area in line with its Dampier Townsite and Foreshore Enhancement Plan.
“We’re doing the boardwalk and putting lots more sand on the beach and putting in trees and shades, so that whole area will be really lovely,” he said.
Mr Lally said cyclone-proof marinas cost many millions of dollars more and “they don’t work”.
The planned marina will use cyclone hardstands instead.
Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club commodore John Lally and City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long at the end of a breakwater in Hampton Harbour, overlooking the area where the planned Dampier marina will go.