After originally being lodged in May 2012, a development application for the multi-million dollar DIER Ferry Road upgrade finally made it into the public domain over Easter this year. Construction work is expected to commence in September this year.  A copy of the development application can be downloaded here (2Mb PDF).  Closing date for representations is 22 April 2013.

Almost two years ago the Kettering Community Association (KCA) gave qualified support to DIER’s concept plans, stating “Whilst accepting that they set out feasible options for resolving long-standing traffic and pedestrian safety issues we would hope that they could incorporate a wider range of issues”.

KCA sought further consideration of:

  • installing the electricity supply underground as part of road works;
  • landscaping the foreshore areas to make them more attractive;
  • improving public access to the foreshore and providing long-term off-street parking; and
  • providing grant funding to Council so that they can deliver the long-anticipated foreshore walkway.

Read the actual KCA submission here (40Kb PDF).

The underground power issue, was valiantly championed by Council, but ultimately rejected by DIER as being too expensive.

KCA still plan to push for underground power and are also seeking improvements to the drainage and embankment treatments along the southern side of Ferry Road.

None of the other items raised by KCA during the concept planning stage have been seriously considered or included in the DIER plans as they seek to maintain a tight rein on expenditure.

Following representations to Minister David O’Byrne locals were delighted that DIER agreed to extend the planned footpath to include a link between Ferry Road at the intersection with the Channel Highway and Selby Road. This is the only concession DIER has made outside their strict focus on upgrading the road.

During the development of the Little Oyster Cove and Ferry Road Precinct Plan, which preceded the current project and was endorsed by Council in November 2009, the need for additional off-street parking and community access to the foreshore was highlighted. This suggestion has been repeatedly raised but remains ignored.

Ferry Road foreshore looking east from Roaring Forties

Even after spending over $6m on road, foreshore will still look like this

The area between Roaring Forties and Kettering Marine represents a perfect location to address these shortcomings. With a modest amount of reclamation there would be room for a service road for waterfront jetties and businesses, off-road parking for boating enthusiasts and visitors and potential for BBQ and seating areas. It would also enable a substantial amount of the foreshore walkway, which has been on the drawing board since the mid-nineties, to be completed.

Council’s own Kettering Walkway Plan 2010 stated (at page 23) that the only thing that was preventing progress on the Ferry Road “boardwalk” was the lack of final plans from the state government. Council has had the plans since at least May 2012.

A concept plan for how the area pictured above could be developed is available for download here (395Kb PDF).  This plan has been submitted to Council as part of the public representations process on the Ferry Road Upgrade development application.

But of course implementing such ideas would require co-ordination not only with the DIER project but also with Crown Lands and various Ferry Road lease/licence holders. It would require some leadership from Kingborough Council.

No doubt in processing this development application Council will fulfil their obligations under the Planning Act where their role is clear. But will they capitalise on all those trucks and diggers to do something a little more expansive and visionary to ensure the job is done once and done right?