Cam River Master Plan

Planning & approvals
Planning and approvals, including seeking approval from Crown land Services and the Department of State Growth
Construction works
Nominal timeframe for civil construction works and installation of new park furniture
Year 2 actions
Implementation of Year 2 Master Plan actions
July-Oct 2020
Nov-May 2020
July 2021 onwards

Detailed description

The Cam River Reserve Master Plan will provide Council with a clear vision for the future development and management of the area. The reserve is recognised as a significant parkland in Waratah-Wynyard and it will continue to be developed as a naturally beautiful riparian reserve for relaxation, leisurely activity and social interaction.

The master plan sets out to address key objectives of managing safety and pedestrian circulation, enhancing and protecting the natural values of the reserve and creating a natural entrance to the eastern side of the municipality.

In summary, the master plan proposes a total 23 actions over the five year period to cover the elected themes of safe access and circulation; relaxation and amenities; nature, art and design; and passive recreation. The actions within the plan address key community concerns around losing open space, losing the natural character of the reserve and pedestrian safety. Additionally, the master plan also considers community aspirations recognised through the initial engagement period, such as including options for a heritage walk and providing more amenities that support picnicking and relaxation.

The key activities that Council plan to deliver during the 2020/21 financial year include:

  • Renew and upgrade riverside path to shared pathway standards (Stage 1 only – south of existing play boat);
  • Seal existing gravel parking areas;
  • Liaise with the Department of State Growth on the design of the bridge replacement;
  • Construct a DDA compliant pedestrian connection between Simpson Street and the reserve;
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders to restrict vehicular access to the reserve for the benefit of improved pedestrian safety;
  • Installation of new park furniture and shade structures;
  • New plantings focussed around the amenities block;
  • Engage a geotechnical consultant to review the viability of land reclamation to extend the available open space;
  • Engage with the relevant stakeholders around swimming safety;
  • Work with the community to develop and create a heritage walk within the reserve, including the installation of informative wayfinding markers.


The Plan will set a clear vision for the future development and management of the area. It provides Council with a set of guidelines that addresses safety concerns and community expectations around how the reserve is intended to be used and what infrastructure might support this. Future improvements to the area led by Council can then factor in the information from the Master Plan.

The nearby vehicular bridge crossing over the Cam River is an asset belonging to the Department of State Growth (DSG). In 2019, the DSG conducted a study over the Bass Highway between Cooee and Wynyard. The study included a risk assessment which highlighted the use of a wider and higher bridge may mitigate some risks associated with predicted traffic increases and flooding. The DSG have been developing a replacement bridge design which meets the recommendations contained within the study, which may include absorption of some of the reserve area to aid in road realignment.

As the maintenance and replacement of the bridge lies with the State Government, the Council have limited influence over how the bridge is designed or how much space is taken for the replacement. As part of the Master Plan, Council will liaise with the DSG to advocate for minimal impact to the reserve and improved pedestrian access to the reserve.

Dates for the bridge replacement are unknown and will be determined by the DSG. At this stage, it is estimated the works will be completed in the next 3-4 years.

To improve pedestrian safety, vehicular access to the grassed areas of the reserve will be restricted. Temporary placement of rocks or bollards will occur after community consultation and will be in place until construction of the new vehicular bridge is completed. A fence and hedge will be installed at the corner of the Bass Highway and Murchison Highways after the bridge works are finished.

Pedestrian access will be enhanced through the reserve by increasing the width of the main pathway to shared standards (over 2m wide) and by including a pedestrian access point at Simpson Street. Council also aim to lobby the Department of State Growth, who are responsible for the replacement of the bridge and the adjoining highways, for improved pedestrian access to Anzac Park and the beach.

The existing play boat is nearing the end of its functional life. Inspections have identified that the structure is beginning to rot and is no longer able to be repaired. For these reasons, Council has been planning for its replacement and exploring alternative opportunities for the site given there will be a new destination standard all abilities playground located at the nearby Anzac Park.

During the public feedback period on the draft Master Plan, Council heard that the existing playground (particularly the boat) is well liked in the community. As a result of this feedback, amendments were made to the final Master Plan to ensure it was more in line with the community’s desires for a play boat to be retained in some form at Cam River. To this end, an action has been flagged for the 2021/22 year to investigate market options for play equipment or interactive art and will include the preparation of a report that details the financial and social implications of each option. The information shall be considered for possible installation in  2022/23.


Cam River Reserve Masterplan

Cam River Reserve - Concept Plan