The Land Development Agency's proposed dry boat slipway at Black Mountain Peninsula will create an industrial site with potential for highly polluting maintenance work in a popular lakeside parkland, say critics of the project.
A 70-page submission - one of 14 to the National Capital Authority, which is assessing the project - is scathing of the territory's land marketing agency, saying plans had not been properly assessed on health, environmental and heritage aspects.
The Walter Burley Griffin Society says boat maintenance and repairs should be carried out at Kingston Harbour, where the slipway was originally planned.
An artist's impression showing a side view of the proposed maintenance shed. Image: Daryl Jackson Alistair Swayne Pty Ltd
Society member John Holland said shifting the slipway was an attempt to generate more revenue for the government at the expense of Canberrans' recreation and the future needs of the national capital.
The society's submission says the National Capital Authority rejected the LDA's attempt in 2010 to move the slipway, but later reversed that decision after the agency provided advice from the Environment Protection Authority on the noise impacts at Kingston. But the society says the noise is not an issue, as design and proper management would overcome any adverse impacts.
The relocated repair and maintenance facility on the peninsula's western shore would comprise a 3.5-metre-wide, 36 metre-long slipway, a 42-tonne winch-operated galvanised steel cradle for boats up to 23.5 metres long, and a 760 square metre compound, including a concrete hard stand and service shed with a storeroom, waste-water treatment plant, tearoom, toilet, winch room and external safety shower.
Walter Burley Griffin Society president James Weirick, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of NSW, said the peninsula site was one of the most valued and heavily used foreshore parks on Lake Burley Griffin. It is used as a swimming beach, as a children's playground and as boathouses for three rowing clubs.
The society says ''slipway'' is misleading. ''The proposal is more than 'a slope leading down into water used for launching and landing boats', it is a significant, potentially highly polluting industrial facility - a commercial dry boat maintenance and repair facility,'' the submission says.
LDA chief executive David Dawes said the original plan was for the slipway to be between the commercial jetties in Kingston harbour and, as such, there was no land for the LDA to sell.
''The original facility at Kingston and the current temporary facility at Yarramundi Reach are both referred to as slipways as this accurately defines their main purpose,'' he said.
''Additionally, the Walter Burley Griffin Society was invited to attend two stakeholder consultations about the location and failed to respond to either invitation. They were also recently offered a briefing by the LDA, however this offer was declined.''
The slipway will provide maintenance and repairs for four commercial operators who operate seven boats on the lake, ranging from electric launches to the diesel-powered catamaran MV Southern Cross and the National Museum of Australia's 1870s Murray River paddle steamer Enterprise.
Routine inspections and maintenance, such as painting, defouling, grinding, changing motors and other parts, hull repairs and the like, will have the potential to adversely affect environmental quality, environmental amenity and human health, the society submission says.