Race to beat beach clo­sure clash

Albany Extra - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LIE BALAAM

Wil­liam Bay Na­tional Park is sched­uled to re­open to the pub­lic next month, with the Shire of Denmark des­per­ate to avoid hav­ing the park and Lights Beach closed at the same time.

The tourist hotspots of Greens Pool and

Ele­phant Rocks have been off-lim­its since Fe­bru­ary, dur­ing works to seal roads and cre­ate ad­di­tional park­ing bays, paths and toi­lets. The $4.3 mil­lion works to Greens Pool and the na­tional park were orig­i­nally sched­uled for com­ple­tion by July.

Wil­liam Bay Na­tional Park is sched­uled to re­open to the pub­lic next month, with the Shire of Denmark des­per­ate to avoid hav­ing the park and Lights Beach closed at the same time.

The tourist hotspots of Greens Pool and Ele­phant Rocks have been off-lim­its to the pub­lic since Fe­bru­ary, dur­ing works to seal roads and cre­ate ad­di­tional park­ing bays, paths and toi­lets.

The $4.3 mil­lion works to Greens Pool and the sur­round­ing na­tional park have been de­layed sev­eral times, in­clud­ing af­ter the wash-out of a new road dur­ing heavy rain in Au­gust.

The Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions orig­i­nally planned for the area to be open in July. A DBCA spokes­woman said this week it was sched­uled to re­open next month, in time for sum­mer.

Shire of Denmark chief ex­ec­u­tive David Schober said he was wait­ing for the re­open­ing so the Shire could be­gin work on up­grades to Lights Beach.

“We will only close Lights Beach once Greens Pool has re­opened. As soon as Greens Pool opens we will start work,” Mr Schober said.

“In fact next Tues­day at our coun­cil meet­ing we’ve got the ten­ders ready for ac­cep­tance.”

Mr Schober ac­knowl­edged the con­cerns about the clo­sure of both beaches. “There has been a bit of alarm about clos­ing the two to­gether, but we are ab­so­lutely avoid­ing that at all costs,” he said.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for our com­mu­nity

There has been a bit of alarm about clos­ing the two to­gether, but we are ab­so­lutely avoid­ing that at all costs. David Schober

to have ac­cess to beaches com­ing into the sum­mer months.”

The spokes­woman said fair weather would en­sure the park re­opened next month, but of­fered no con­crete tar­get date.

“The depart­ment is work­ing as quickly as it can to have the site open to the pub­lic,” the spokes­woman said.

“As al­ways, safety and qual­ity work­man­ship re­main as the depart­ment’s top pri­or­ity.”

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