Williamstown - Local Port Area Plan

Project status

February 2024: Project complete - Final Plan released



The Project

This project is being undertaken on Bunurong Sea Country 

The Williamstown Local Port Area Plan draws inspiration from the site's history and incorporates ideas and suggestions from community feedback to direct and prioritise future investment. It sets out improvements to meet community needs, balancing and enhancing existing uses and creating new, safer recreation opportunities shoring up the future for this iconic maritime destination. 

The plan provides clear direction on the future of the precinct’s piers and jetties, access-channel sedimentation, and provision for larger vessels, along with key actions to support the successful function of the local port area.  

Information gathered from key stakeholders and the community, alongside technical investigations and other research, has been used to help inform the development of the final plan which is now available to the public. 

Local Port Area Plans are developed as part of the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Local Ports Framework and Parks Victoria's local ports forward planning program to help guide investment where it's needed most.



The Williamstown local port area is 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 the Port of Port Philip, Parks Victoria manages a variety of maritime infrastructure assets in the area including the popular and well-used Ferguson Street and Gem Piers, 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 and Boyd Street Piers, and Commissioner’s Jetty, which have largely reached end of life. To manage public safety, these assets remain closed to the public except for some managed access for authorised berthing permit holders at Workshops Pier.  


Maps showing area of focus for the Williamstown Local Port Area Plan

Image - Two maps showing the focus area for the Williamstown Local Port Area Plan


Project timeline

  1. Background research, technical investigations and stakeholder consultation - Mid-late 2022
  2. Prepare the draft Williamstown Local Port Area Plan – Early-mid 2023
  3. Draft local port area plan released and start of community consultation – Spring 2023
  4. Community feedback considered - Late 2023
  5. Final local port area plan reporting back – Early 2024

 *timelines are a guide only and may be subject to change.

Who we're working with 

This project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of Transport and Planning.

Document library


Stay updated 

For regular project updates, please subscribe for Williamstown Local Port Area Plan news.

For general enquiries email engage@parks.vic.gov.au or call us on 13 1963.

Read the March 2023 - Community Update project e-newsletter

Read the August 2023 - Community Update project e-newsletter

Read the September 2023 - Community Update waterway rule change e-newsletter



Related news

Parks Victoria is currently undertaking a local port area planning process for Mornington Harbour, Sorrento and St Leonards in Port Phillip and Rhyll in Western Port. A final plan for Sandringham Harbour was released in late 2022 and being used to guide the rebuild of Hampton Pier.

Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell.  The three local ports combined include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.  

Places to visit – Williamstown Piers


Frequently asked questions  

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.


Who did you consult with to prepare the plan?

Stage 1- Stakeholder / Key User Consultation  
In October 2022, Parks Victoria engaged with key local stakeholders and user groups of the local port area through meetings and a focus group. This included engaging with representatives from the yacht clubs, tenants, peak boating bodies, Seaworks, Port of Williamstown Action Group, Tall Ships Victoria, amongst others. The participants worked with Parks Victoria to discuss the current uses, issues and future vision of the Williamstown local port area. Early input from this group, along with input from the Traditional Owners through the Bunurong Land Council and Aboriginal Corporation, and members of the Project Reference Group helped inform the draft plan. View the key findings report here.  

Stage 2 – Community Consultation  
The next stage involved consulting with the wider community to gather feedback on the draft plan to help inform a final plan. Altogether, 102 people shared their feedback and ideas through an Engage Victoria consultation process that ran from 31 August to 30 September 2023. There were 55 survey submissions and 47 written responses. There was a high number of people who visited the Engage Victoria website (4,579 views by 1,400 unique users). A community pop-up was held at the September Williamstown Craft Market where staff spoke to around 100 people about the project. The Community engagement Report can be viewed here. add link

We sought to reach as many community members and stakeholders as possible so that the final plan reflects their needs and desires.


Why are Workshops Pier, Commissioners Jetty and Boyd St Pier all closed?

The piles under Commissioners 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 the proposed waterway rule change about?  

Parks Victoria recently consulted on the proposed modification and extension of the 5-knot speed limit of the waters under its control in Williamstown local port area.This proposed waterway rule change is identified as a key mitigation measure identified in the Williamstown Maritime Precinct Wave Wash Surge Study - Stage 3 Mitigation Options Assessment. Learn more about the rule change and process via the Engage Victoria. Parks Victoria has initiated a process to request a permanent waterway rule change within the waters under its control in the Williamstown Local Port Area. 

How can I participate?

Consultation opportunities through formal surveys have now closed.  However, you can email the Project Team at any time with feedback via engage@parks.vic.gov.au. You can also subscribe to be kept informed about project news.


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