10 February 2020


10 February 2020


The Victorian State Government is to be congratulated for splendid $3.25m contribution to this outstanding project for the community of Rye.

It has been an intensely collaborative effort of the Shire officers and Nepean ward councilors in this council and the last working with the Rye Community and the Victorian State Government – now over six years. If I might just mention James Bryan our strategic planner and before him, Virginia  Brook our coastal planner who secured the initial seed funding from the Recreational Boating Fund, and Doug Bradbrook transport and traffic, Davey Smith infrastructure strategy – and I mention these as just a few of the names of those involved in a team effort from coast and strategic planning, statutory planning, traffic and transport, engineering, finance and the documentation to secure the grants applications and communications – communicating all this to the wider community and government – all the intensive planning work funded by Council.

The project had its genesis in a small $30,000 grant from the State Government Recreational Boating Fund to redesign the Rye Boat ramp – the consequent plan not only achieved that – and it has been built and functioning efficiently as designed – but also provided a landscape design for the Rye foreshore as the Rye Recreational Boating Precinct Plan. This Plan won the planning and management category of the 2014 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence. I was pleased to accept that award from the then Minister on behalf of the Shire at the National Gallery of Victorian presentation ceremony as long ago as 11 September 2014.

From there the project evolved – how to better connect the Rye central township – with its wide streets, excellent coherent town grid and hinterland public buildings– with the foreshore and its fabulous popular beach and pier.

Through the Rye Place and Movement project – again an intensely collaborative effort of Council, community, VicRoads, Bicycle Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission and detailed Council strategic and statutory planning input – the impossible plan was achieved and approved with the Rye Township Plan. This won the 2018 Australian Coastal Award for Planning and Management.

This Plan has five major components –

  1. Rejuvenating the foreshore and reconfiguring its uses;
  2. Connecting the foreshore and township with a low profile commercial built form along Point Nepean Road – not creating a “wall” of built form between the hinterland township and the foreshore;
  3. Rejuvenating pedestrian use and access to the built form along Point Nepean Road;
  4. Slowing and reconfiguring the traffic along Point Nepean road and better and separately regulating the entry to the foreshore of pedestrians and traffic from Point Nepean Road;
  5. Skewing the town from an east west axis along Point Nepean Road to a new north south axis oriented on the Rye pier, a new Napier Street Mall penetrating into the township grid and giving it depth and focus on its central commercial and community centre.

It is a delight that after six years’ hard work by all the stakeholders I have referred to, two major components can now be achieved. The project from start to finish has been an excellent example of all levels of government working closely together and the community working with, not against, these plans as they have evolved as Council has responded to the community. I look forward to its further realization.