Project Background

The development of a new boating facility in Broome has long been considered as essential to address critical safety and access issues. This is particularly associated with boating launch and retrieval, and transfer between vessels and shore. Large tides, strong currents, wind and waves can at times create hazardous conditions at the existing exposed beaches and boat ramps where conditions can change very quickly.

The Shire of Broome and other key stakeholders have been working on solutions to this problem for many years and more recently through the efforts of the Broome Boat Harbour Advisory Group. The Advisory Group comprises representatives from; The Shire of Broome, The Department of Transport, The Yawuru Group CEO, The Kimberley Port Authority, The Kimberley Development Commission and Community boating representatives, through the Broome Fishing Club.

In 2017 the State Government committed funding through the Department of Transport to work with the Broome Community to plan for a new boating facility to improve safety and access. The work of the Boat Harbour Advisory Group has led this planning exercise. 

Work to date has been focussed on identifying a suitable location and design for the facility whilst taking into account critical aspects of appropriate maritime design and sensitivities around environmental and heritage matters.

In February 2020 the Advisory Group and its representative agencies and stakeholders endorsed a conceptual design for the proposed boating facility and resolved to undertake broader community consultation to test and refine the proposal.

On the completion of the consultation, further refinement of the concept design and technical work will be undertaken. A Business Plan will then be prepared for government consideration seeking capital funding to deliver the project.

The Proposal

The Development of a smaller boating facility (as opposed to a larger boat harbour) be developed at the location of the existing boat ramps at Entrance Point. (Refer to the preliminary concept design)

The facility is proposed to include a sheltered boat launching facility with up to four ramp lanes and two finger jetties. Investigation is continuing into the possibility of the finger jetties being floating pontoons to improve all tide use and accessibility.

The facility is anticipated to require sheltering arms adjacent to the ramp and a detached offshore breakwater to screen larger waves. These are likely to be constructed from rock but alternative materials and construction methodologies will be explored in the detailed design phase.

The facility is anticipated to have a ramp toe at approximately +0.5m chart datum which will provide close to all tide access for small draft vessels. No capital dredging is anticipated as part of the construction works.

The facility is anticipated to have a capability for passenger transfer for larger non-trailerable boats such as tourist charter vessels, however an upper limit design vessel has not been determined as yet.

The facility is anticipated to have a potential capability for jinkering (removal from the water) of larger vessels (size to be determined) if required for either servicing or hardstanding including during cyclone events.

Trailer parking onsite is approximately 160 bays meeting the Australian Standards guideline.

Additional features will be included with the facility such as public amenities, beach access, landscaping and shelters. Community input and feedback will help define these elements.

The provision of a dedicated access road to the facility (enabling the creation of recreational precinct) from Kavite Road providing separation from the commercial Port operations and improving access to the western coast at Entrance Point.

Project Timeline

2010 - 2013
Previous State government funding and planning for a Small Boating Facility in Broome was abandoned due to high costs and concerns over the site suitability in West Roebuck Bay.
December 2013
Shire of Broome developed the Boat Harbour CEO Advisory Group, this became the Broome Boat Harbour Advisory Group (BBHAG) in July 2016.
September 2017
$1 million re-allocated by the Western Australian State Government for new planning and investigations to proceed.
January 2018 - February 2019
Investigations into a boat harbour facility at Reddell Beach were undertaken but not supported by the BBHAG following the identification of dinosaur trackways in the area (West Kimberley National Heritage Zone).
February 2019-December 2019
Investigation into co-location opportunities with the Kimberley Marine Supply Base (KMSB) for a site between Broome Port and Entrance Point were undertaken. This location was ultimately not supported due to rich cultural and heritage values identified through a detailed heritage study of the area.
December 2019-January 2020
Multi agency collaboration with Nyamba Buru Yawuru confirms support for a preferred location and design concept at the existing boat ramp location at Entrance Point through resolutions of the Yawuru Board and the Broome Boating Facility Advisory Group.
17 March - 15 April 2020
The Broome Shire Council resolves to support the Broome Boating Facility concept and to commence further Community Consultation and engagement.
April - June 2020
Preparation of detailed designs for the boating facility proposal and development of a funding proposal for government consideration.
June 2020 onwards
Seek a government funding commitment to construct the Broome Boating Facility.

A special project by

Yawuru PBC have worked with all parties to arrive at the agreed concept design and location