11/02/2009 - 22:00

State looks at Rous Head marina

11/02/2009 - 22:00

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BOATIES might have found a champion in Premier Colin Barnett, who has set his government's sights on a marina nestled into the northern part of Rous Head.

State looks at Rous Head marina

BOATIES might have found a champion in Premier Colin Barnett, who has set his government's sights on a marina nestled into the northern part of Rous Head.

Mr Barnett said he has referred the matter to Transport Minister Simon O'Brien, though there was no detail forthcoming from the government regarding the scale of the proposal likely to adjoin Port Beach.

The boating community has been crying out for new facilities, with waiting times for existing pens thought to extend for decades in many instances.

Whole both river and ocean pens are full, the Rous Head option also opens the option for a marina development accessible to boat users from the western suburbs of Perth who currently don't have an ocean facility.

"I have always wanted to see a marina development in the Rous Head area and that's something I've asked the minister for transport to have a look at," Mr Barnett told 6PR radio last week.

The view of the premier, whose state seat of Cottesloe includes the proposed development area, reaffirmed comments he'd made before last year's election.

His support of a Rous Head marina is in contrast to his view on the Northport Quay development, a private proposal released last year to build a mixed-use, high-rise development on reclaimed land on the ocean side of Rous Head.

Mr Barnett said last week that he did not see that proposal, in its current form, going ahead.

Marine Brokers Institute of WA vice-president Martin Box welcomed the premier's latest comments supporting a marina in the area.

Mr Box said a 1,000-pen marina was what had been talked about in the boating community.

"That would sort out our problems instantly," he said.

Mr Box said there was huge demand for boats, even in the current downturn, but potential owners were put off by the lack of places to moor their playthings.

"I have people wanting to buy boats but there is nowhere to put them," he said.

While some clubs will no longer add names to waiting lists for pens, others have waiting lists of 30 years or more.

There has been the expansion of some facilities on the river but that has failed to keep pace with demand.

On the ocean, there is no marina facility between Fremantle and Hillarys Boat Harbour, and the previous government's suggestion of a facility at Swanbourne, within Mr Barnett's electorate, met with significant opposition.

Occupying already reclaimed land and containing only industrial tenants, Rous Head would be a much less controversial option.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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