Council to study shark barrier
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.
Craig Moss with a section of the Eco Shark Barrier at Cottesloe Beach recently.