Concerns raised over marina costs

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
An artist’s impression of the Port Hedland Spoilbank Marina development.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of the Port Hedland Spoilbank Marina development. Credit: Landcorp

The long-awaited Spoilbank Marina master plan has been met with mixed reviews from Port Hedland residents, who are concerned about the costs of maintaining the multimillion-dollar development.

The $95 million project, which would transform the waterfront area off Sutherland Street, was first announced in October last year, with community consultation occurring in August and September.

Design plans include 80 boat pens, four boat ramps, a nature play playground, grassed promenade and a floating public jetty.

Plans were shown at an open day in town earlier this month, with locals asked to provide feedback to help shape final designs before it is presented to council for approval next month.

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Port Hedland resident Sharon Smirke said the design was great, but she was worried the ongoing cost of maintenance would be passed on to residents. “It’s a good start, but there are a few things that we don’t know,” she said.

“There’s nothing about how long this will take, this is another step, they seem to do a lot of community engagement which is great, but in 12 months am I still going to be attending another one of these.”

Ms Smirke said she was concerned whether the council could sustain the maintenance of the marina long term.

“It’s definitely something the town needs.”

While Port Hedland resident Mark Hitchen said the marina could only improve the town, but the upkeep of the site could cost a lot.

“Its probably going to be a bit of money up-keeping the greenery, especially in the harsh cyclone conditions,” he said.

Town of Port Hedland Commissioner Fred Riebeling said the ongoing maintenance of the marina was still developed.

Mr Riebeling said the maintenance would be a combination between State and local government.

“There’s no plan to raise rates to fund any maintenance at this point in time,” he said.

Mr Riebeling said he believed the dredging of the Marina would fall on the State Government, likely the Department of Transport.

He said the council would not be making small businesses cover the cost of maintaining the facility.

“It is my understanding that ownership and maintenance of the facility would fall to a group like the Ports Authority,” he said.

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