Williamstown - Local Port Area Plan
The Williamstown maritime precinct is located in Melbourne’s vibrant west. The area has traditionally been home to a range of recreational, commercial and community boating activities, revealing its strong connection to the sea. Boasting scenic views towards Melbourne’s CBD and positioned near the entrance of one of the busiest commercial ports in Australia, the Port of Melbourne, the area supports a significant volume of maritime traffic and fosters connections to Victorian maritime history with Seaworks maritime museum.
Parks Victoria is the Committee of Management for a large portion of Hobsons Bay at Williamstown including the foreshore area which is home to many boat and yacht clubs, and marine repair businesses. As the local port manager for Port Philip, Parks Victoria manages a variety of maritime infrastructure assets in the area including the popular and well-used Ferguson Street Pier, Gem Pier, and Williamstown’s swing mooring ground.
Parks Victoria is also the landlord to the yacht clubs and businesses that adjoin the waterfront, including Seaworks. The site promotes Victoria’s maritime history in Williamstown, is a working port, and Melbourne’s key mooring site for visiting local and international tall ships and other historic vessels. The Seaworks lease includes: Workshops Pier, Commissioner’s Jetty and Boyd Street Pier, and are now approaching end of their lives. To manage public safety, these structurally unsafe assets remain largely closed to the public except for some managed access for authorised berthing permit holders at Workshops Pier.
Image - Two maps showing the focus area for the Williamstown Local Port Area Plan
The project aims to progress the objectives of the Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework, developed by the Department of Transport in the context of the Sustainable Local Ports Framework. The local port area plan will improve the function and sustainability of the Williamstown local port area while protecting its values as a regional maritime and boating destination.
It will focus on the local port waterside infrastructure in the Seaworks site, particularly the future of Workshops Pier, Commissioner’s Jetty and Boyd Street Pier. Gem Pier and Ferguson Street Pier will also be included in the focus site to ensure the function and related access needs for all key users of this local port area are considered. The project will be confined to Parks Victoria’s Committee of Management area.
This project is part of Parks Victoria’s local ports forward planning, and will include undertaking detailed planning and further stakeholder and community engagement, supported by existing and further studies and investigations.
The outcome of the process is a future-ready, local port area plan for this priority precinct. The plan will help guide the Victorian Government’s investment priorities and provide a more sustainable approach to meeting economic, tourism and community needs.
- Background research, technical investigations and stakeholder consultation - Mid-late 2022
- Prepare the draft Williamstown Local Port Area Plan – Early 2023
- Draft local port area plan released and the commencement of community consultation – Mid 2023
- Community feedback considered - Mid 2023
- Final local port area plan released – Late 2023
*timelines are a guide only and may be subject to change.
Who we're working with
Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell. The three local ports combined receive approximately 30 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.
Frequently asked questions
What is the happening at Williamstown?
The commencement of a local port area planning project for the local port in Williamstown. This area has long been recognised as an important recreational boating destination with significant maritime heritage on Port Phillip. Commencing the local port area planning process is an important step in ensuring that we have a plan for future investment in this key precinct.
What is a local port area plan?
The Sustainable Local Ports Framework introduces the concept of a local port area plan. The aim of a local port area plan is to address current and future uses and development of the local port. It will be informed by technical investigations and stakeholder consultation.
Why is a local port area plan needed for Williamstown?
Parks Victoria has been working with the key stakeholders for many years on a range of technical issues such as dredging, wave wash and surge, fairways and public asset condition. This local port area plan is the opportunity to bring these technical reports and information together into one plan that aims to consider and balance investment needs for the area against broader priorities within the local port network. It will progress the objectives of the Williamstown Maritime Precinct Framework in the context of the Sustainable Local Ports Framework.
Who is preparing the local port area plan?
Parks Victoria, as the relevant local port manager, is leading these planning projects. For the Williamstown Local Port Area Plan, a Project Reference Group (PRG) comprising representatives from Parks Victoria, Hobsons Bay City Council, Department of Transport, and Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation will convene to advise on the project. Typically, consultants will be appointed to aid the preparation the draft and final local port area plan and provide any required technical advice.
How will the community and stakeholders be consulted?
Stakeholder focus groups will provide early input to inform and help shape the draft local port area plan. The draft plan will be publicly released, and the wider community invited to tell us more during a public consultation process. This feedback will be considered and included in the final local port area plan.
Why are Workshops Pier, Commissioners Jetty and Boyd St Pier all closed?
The piles under Commissioner’s Jetty and Boyd Street Pier have failed and the deck has now collapsed. A decision on the future of these assets needs to be made, which the local port area planning process will aim to address.
The piles under Workshops Pier have also deteriorated to a point where Parks Victoria has needed to manage access to the pier to ensure public safety. Workshops Pier is currently closed, but Seaworks can facilitate access for permitted berthing holders. The local port area plan will propose options for the future of Workshops Pier.
What is happening with Gem Pier?
How can I participate?
Return to this project page to learn about consultation opportunities. You can also subscribe to be kept informed about project news and upcoming consultation or engagement opportunities.