The Broome Community has been requesting the assistance of successive governments over several decades to improve the standard of facilities in Broome to respond to unsafe conditions and facilities which have seen numerous accident and incidents.
The facilities in Broome do not meet the standards currently expected of boating facilities in Australia and are below the standard in most other regional towns
A boating facility for Broome has been considered in various forms for more than thirty years.
Stakeholder reference and steering groups have existed under various names during the process, but have had consistent membership, including the Shire of Broome; Department of Transport (formerly Planning and Infrastructure); Kimberley Port Authority (formerly Broome Port Authority), the Kimberley Development Commission; Traditional Owner representative groups including the Kimberley Land Council and Yawuru; and community groups.
A whole host of reasons exist as to why development has not yet taken place, but among them are Broome’s extreme tides which present many engineering and cost challenges; as well as environmental and cultural reasons.
Varying scopes in different locations have been considered over the years, from locked marinas to safe boat harbours to improved ramp facilities.
In 2010 the State Government approved funds ($35M) for a new boat harbour in Broome. A site west of Roebuck Bay was under investigation and concepts for a marina were abandoned after preliminary estimates exceeded $200M.
In 2013 a new concept for a boat launching facility in west Roebuck Bay was prepared but subsequently abandoned due to; high costs, design challenges, incompatibility with Port operations and concerns over cultural heritage impacts.
Past locations for a boating facility in Broome that have been considered over the past 30+ years
In 2019, the MOLA analysis in collected and collated data that represent cultural, environmental and development values.
Environmental and cultural data were combined using a fuzzy logic approach to create a heat map. The Broome Boating Facility design was then overlaid.
The heat map, combined with community suggestions and the new design footprint avoids areas of high cultural and environmental importance.