YWP Site Visit and Technical Presentation: Elizabeth Quay

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Elizabeth Quay development needs little introduction; the $440 million development that’s been many years in the planning has recently opened with much fanfare to the public. The latest Australian Water Association YWP event gave a rare opportunity to learn about the water management aspects of the development that were considered both in the planning and construction. Dave Sim, GM of Environment, Planning and Development and Water at RPS, is the States’ appointed Environment Leaders on the project and took Elizabeth Quay from concept through construction and now into post monitoring.

Dave gave an excellent 45 minute presentation on the unique project and delivered a detailed technical insight into the particular environmental management challenges the team faced in designing and constructing this this iconic public space. Of particular interest was the management of water quality, management of contaminated land and the dredging activities required to open up the quay. Silt from the dredging activities could have been a huge ecological and environmental issue with a highly visible impact but the team identified an innovative technique for minimising the risk to endemic flor and fauna. There were no impacts on areas of seagrass in Melville Waters or on the local bottlenose dolphins whom we learnt were keen to take advantage of the construction activities and use the silt curtains as fishing aids!

Following the technical presentation Dave guided the group around the Quay itself and we saw in detail how water was managed on site. It was great to see such an extensive use of Water sensitive urban design principles across the site and local infiltration of all drainage on site. It was great to get so up, close and personal with the quay and get a deeper understanding of how the city and river were connected once again. Many thanks to the Department of Water for hosting the presentation!

Elizabeth Quay Site Visit