It would not take much to reject the McGowan government campaign that Ocean Reef Marina (ORM) is a world class project and best practice environmental planning.

The large-scale environmental impacts render the best practice argument invalid.

Population Research WA is part of a Northern suburbs alliance involving many concerned local citizens. Many people have observed the wide scale environmental damage occurring at ORM. And are disturbed that a pristine Northern foreshore (vested in State and Local government) would be used in such a way.

Proponents Development WA are putting significant resources into their ORM information campaign.

However, local Northern groups, researchers and citizens are working together to reveal major flaws in their project.

Population Research is not against development at ORM. But as you will note below, we oppose high impact development at ORM in its current form.

Significant environmental damage and social disruption has already taken place.

However, the impacts can be minimised, it is a long term construction process running until completion in 2036. Politics and policy can be unpredictable and can adopt a more ecological approach overtime.

State and Local government politicians and councillors are eventually replaced. And others moving in are willing to balance economic gains for better social and environmental outcomes.

This is the largest ever high impact housing development on Perth’s spotless Metropolitan coastline. The Perth and Peel region stretches more than 150 kilometres from Two Rocks in the north to Bouvard in the south.

It is the North metro communities which will be left with a privatised high rise housing estate, and privately owned supermarket, retail, hotels and mixed use buildings currently zoned up to 9 storeys high.

The excessive development is causing irreversible damage to the foreshore and A Class marine environment. Obstructing public and recreational access and clearing environmental systems that were in excellent condition. The ORM project is a major privatisation and commercialism of coastal public land and loss of public access.

Northern suburbs people are becoming more aware how much the Development WA project will impact on the Northern foreshore through to 2036 .

The concept plans move in the direction of higher population density

From the initial ORM Concept 7 (2009), the plans have constantly evolved as a result of specific private consultant reports.

Paid for by the proponent Landcorp/Development WA, and funded by government, private consultant reports have determined the current high impact development outcome.

Extraordinarily little consultation about the land component has involved the North west community. The Public Environmental Review was solely for the Marine environment, leaving out a terrestrial environmental review .

The original Concept 7, environmentally damaging it certainly was, but had a much smaller population, housing, and commercial footprint, than the current concept plan. This plan was discarded, when a City of Joondalup analysis showed it would generate a significant deficit.

The Marina population density footprint has continued to escalate. Influenced by the ABS 2016 census and Perth and Peel Plan 3.5 million by 2050 released in (2018). Perth and Peel by 2050, incorporated higher immigration growth assumptions for the North metro region.

ORM housing yields and economic returns are more important than environmental assets.

The Marina project is driven by population gains as discussed above and regional economic development.The goal is to increase dwelling yields, and attract a large district catchment of approximately 75,000 people.

The effective daily residential population is likely between 1,840 and 3,060 people, see Table 1 below. This represents an astonishing 145% rise from the original ORM Design and Capability reports produced for Landcorp (2014, 2016). These reports assumed 1,250 people as the average daily population at ORM, in a plan consisting of 600 apartments and 100 dwellings.

This was not ideal, but was a lower environment impact plan than the current high dwelling yield option.

Table 1 – On Site Population Yield

Accommodation TypeUnits/LowUnits/HighOccupancyLow Yield PopHigh Yield Pop
Low Medium Density1403312.4336795
Source: Ocean Reef Marina Design & Capability Update, October 2018, By Urbacity Prepared for LandCorp

Development WA contradict this figure, their current information campaign states the original plan included  900 dwellings

A major turning point in this highly controversial project was the updated Landcorp D&C report (2018) which significantly increased the dwelling potential yield to 1,152-1,789 dwellings, see Table 2 below. Effectively making the project much more financially viable for State government dividends and City of Joondalup rates receipts and parking fees. Which is a core part of the COJ long term business plan for the major land transaction at ORM.

This is more than double the yield in previous Landcorp D&C reports. Yet a public review of the social and environmental impact related to intensified land use and significant population increase was seen as unnecessary by State and Local government.

Finally, the Landcorp D&C report (2018) was critical in shifting the ORM concept from a resort themed Marina to a high-rise urban, retail and mixed use activity precinct.

Table 2 –   Land Area and Yield Comparisons.

Development TypeConcept Plan 7.2Preferred Concept
Land Area (ha)YieldLand Area (ha)Yield
Low/Medium Density Residential2.791-1914.7140-331
High Density Residential1.8844-1,3511.7792-1,238
Hotel Rooms220220
Total Capacity/Yield4.51,155-1,7626.41,152-1,789
Source: Ocean Reef Marina Design & Capability Update, October 2018, By Urbacity Prepared for LandCorp

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