Special Commendation - Excellence in marine and coastal design or development

Corinella boat ramp reconstruction

Corinella Foreshore Committee of Management

Corinella, Western Port Bay


This year the Victorian Marine and Coastal Council (VMaCC) has awarded a special commendation to the Corinella Foreshore Committee of Management for its reconstruction of the Corinella boat ramp facility.

Over the last decade the steady and significant increase in use of the Corinella Boat Ramp resulted in negative environmental and social impacts. Extended waiting times were being experienced by vehicles queueing to use ramps, and by boats awaiting ramp capacity for retrieval. This resulted in air and marine pollution from idling vehicles and watercraft. The Committee was faced with two options to accommodate the projected steady increase in demand for boat ramp facilities. Either it could increase the number of boat ramps, supporting the rapidly increasing south-eastern metropolitan population through new facilities; or undertake a project to improve the capacity and efficiency of the existing facility.

By pursuing the latter option, the Committee avoided the need for new development on already limited coastal foreshore space, and further construction, development and dredging works in the environmentally sensitive, globally significant RAMSAR reserve surrounding Corinella. The committee resolved to design, fund and implement reconstruction of the existing boat ramp and ancillary facilities, using best practices in design to optimise environmental and social outcomes. As a result, intensive boating traffic has been confined to the existing precinct, avoiding additional traffic issues elsewhere in the area.

Included in the design brief was the need to factor in projected sea level rises and increased weather extremes from climate change. This was achieved by utilising a floating pontoon design to maintain full functionality in future, and specification of materials and engineering methods that assumed increased frequency and severity of weather extremes. Improved access for users with mobility challenges and fish cleaning and waste disposal facilities were included, as was community involvement through extensive engagement and consultation.

Through the careful design of this project, the committee has achieved:

  • a 50% increase in capacity to accommodate future population increase, with minimal impact to the existing undisturbed Western Port marine and coastal environment
  • a formal traffic management design which together with the increased capacity has greatly reduced waiting times and consequently the generation of air and marine pollutants; and
  • a facility designed to accommodate projected future impacts of climate change.

Judges highlighted the successful balancing of the need to provide access, with protecting other significant social and environmental values in the area. They also noted the difference in capacity and resources that pose challenges for volunteer committees, further emphasising the outstanding results that this project has delivered for the community.

Page last updated: 20/11/20