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Environmental studies carried out for waterfront project

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

With the first two stages of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront project funded, efforts are under way to get the environmental approvals necessary for the ambitious third phase to go ahead.

As part of this process, key environmental studies are being carried out in Koombana Bay and Casuarina Boat Harbour to gain an understanding of water quality.

Information obtained will be used in computer modelling to test the designs of the planned new marine facilities.

The modelling is expected to provide an indication as to how marine water movement and quality may adjust with construction of these facilities, and inform any changes to concept designs to minimise any potential environmental impact.

The South West Development Commission is leading the environmental approvals process on behalf of the TBW steering committee.

SWDC assistant director infrastructure Ashley Clements said a number of environmental studies would need to be completed in order to deliver the marine-based structures envisioned for the third stage of the project.

"As we edge closer to the first two stages of the project taking shape, we are working behind the scenes to make sure stage three also becomes a reality," Mr Clements said.

"The environmental studies will answer important questions, particularly around marine water quality and marine fauna in order to provide the information necessary to gain support for this stage of the project."

TBW chairman John Castrilli said the comprehensive studies would "give us the confidence to finalise planning for the future third stage."

"I look forward to its completion so we can stay ahead in terms of the continuing development flowing smoothly," Mr Castrilli said.

"It's important that we cover all bases with the environmental studies but at the same time, make sure there are no unnecessary delays to the whole process."

Also to be carried out are a coastal processes assessment, a marina fauna study, and a benthic habitat survey.

In March, the Department of Transport tracked water movement in Casuarina Boat Harbour in order to collect data that could be used in verifying computer modelling to determine the best development options for the harbour.

TBW aims to take underused areas along the city's waterfront and convert them into vibrant places that produce long-term community and economic benefits.

The first stage of the project will see the redevelopment of the Dolphin Discovery Centre, and revitalisation of the Koombana Bay foreshore. The second stage involves landscaping along Casuarina Drive, and upgrades to Jetty Road causeway.

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