Coun­cil to study shark bar­rier

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - LIB­ERAL MP WANTS MANY BAR­RI­ERS­my­commu­

COTTES­LOE Coun­cil will in­ves­ti­gate a Cottes­loe Beach shark bar­rier de­vel­oped after seven fa­tal shark at­tacks in three years in WA.

“I cer­tainly think it has merit, but it’s early days, and whether we go with it or not de­pends on go­ing back to the pro­po­nent and an­swer­ing ques­tions like how would it af­fect win­ter surfers, cope with seaweed from storms and how it fits in with surf lifesavers’ op­er­a­tions and the ac­tiv­i­ties of Cottes­loe Surf Life Sav­ing Club,” Mayor Jo Dawkins said.

A 1925 shark net on three py­lons was de­stroyed when two of the sup­ports washed way leav­ing the iconic Cottes­loe Py­lon in 1937.

Last Tues­day, Eco Shark Bar­rier cre­ator Craig Moss and his for­mer part­ner in de­vel­op­ing the con­cept, Bionic Bar­rier man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ed­ward Khoury, briefed the coun­cil on bar­ri­ers that do not kill marine life.

A day ear­lier, the coun­cil al­lo­cated $300,000 for a sep­a­rate beach watch­tower the Cottes­loe Surf Life Sav­ing Club is de­vel­op­ing near Cottes­loe Groyne, after the State Gov­ern­ment also pro­vided $300,000 for the tower last year.

Mrs Dawkins said it had not been dis­cussed if the coun­cil’s watch­tower money could be re­al­lo­cated for a bar­rier and how a rock pool along the groyne pro­posed by club mem­ber Tom Locke would work with a bar­rier be­cause there had been no de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for the pool.

At the brief­ings, Mr Khoury said his Bionic Bar­rier was en­gi­neered for seaweed, could be low­ered for the Rot­tnest Chan­nel Swim and moved with waves with a “con­certina-like” func­tion.

Mr Moss’ Eco Shark Bar­rier has 2.1mwide sec­tions sus­pended from floats, was suc­cess­fully tri­alled at Coogee Beach last sum­mer and could be tested at the Univer­sity of WA.

“A bar­rier at Cottes­loe is de­signed for that ex­posed coast, and would not have py­lons or a visual im­pact,” Mr Moss said

The coun­cil will ask him for a cost es­ti­mate, how the de­vice copes with swell and seaweed, its ef­fect on lifesavers and al­lyear use.

Mr Locke said a bar­rier was an al­ter­na­tive to his pool, but it would have to solve the seaweed is­sue and did not pro­vide dis­abled ac­cess to the sea.

Cock­burn Coun­cil will con­sider a sec­ond sum­mer for its bar­rier this month, while the State Gov­ern­ment is re­view­ing that trial and its own Duns­bor­ough shark net be­fore al­lo­cat­ing $1.9 mil­lion for fu­ture shark at­tack pro­tec­tion.

Pic­ture: Joc Bas­sett

Craig Moss with a sec­tion of the Eco Shark Bar­rier at Cottes­loe Beach re­cently.

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