Call for lead­er­ship on sea pool con­cept

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

COTTES­LOE Beach sea pool pro­po­nent Tom Locke says the town needs the lead­er­ship shown by Fre­man­tle Coun­cil, which put a sea pool in its plan­ning be­fore a com­mu­nity pe­ti­tion for the port city fa­cil­ity was launched last week.

“It’s en­cour­ag­ing that Fre­man­tle lo­cal gov­ern­ment is lead­ing the ocean pool devel­op­ment there, and I would en­cour­age Fre­man­tle Coun­cil to work with ev­i­dence and take ad­vice from sci­en­tists, not hearsay from so-called ex­perts,” Mr Locke said.

He is among sev­eral regular morn­ing swim­mers who have spent 14 years de­vel­op­ing a Cottes­loe sea pool plan since Ken Crew was killed by a shark at North Cottes­loe in 2000.

Us­ing en­gi­neer­ing ex­per­tise and re­search from Pro­fes­sor John Bloom­field and Cen­tre for Wa­ter Re­search Pro­fes­sor Jorg Im­berger, the group pro­posed to build a Jshaped rock wall along Cottes­loe Groyne’s north side to cre­ate a sand-bot­tom, wave-flushed 75m by 25m, $6.8 mil­lion pool for the dis­abled, chil­dren and se­niors.

Mr Locke said Cottes­loe Coun­cil lead­er­ship about his pro­posal had been “sadly lack­ing” and had al­lowed the State Gov­ern­ment to sug­gest an in­ap­pro­pri­ate site south of the groyne.

Fre­man­tle sea pool pro­po­nent Sam Martin said it was un­likely a Bathers Beach sea pool would use Cottes­loe’s de­sign be­cause it would be above sea level, filled by so­lar- pow­ered pumps and have more fa­cil­i­ties for res­i­dents and tourists.

“I don’t think it’s a race with Cottes­loe, but it is a process cer­tain coun­cils need to go through at their own paces,” Mr Martin said.

Fre­man­tle Port Author­ity has ex­pressed con­cern about a sea pool at­tract­ing peo­ple and cars near its op­er­a­tions.

Mr Martin said the pe­ti­tion to be sent to State Par­lia­ment would loosely de­fine a lo­ca­tion.

Cottes­loe Mayor Jo Dawkins said that other than a brief­ing by the pro­po­nents, at which “a lot” of res­i­dents op­posed a pool on the beach, the coun­cil had never re­ceived a devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for a sea pool north of the groyne.

An ini­tial idea of a rock pool on the south­ern side would be com­pli­cated by the Abo­rig­i­nal her­itage sta­tus of the nearby Mudu­rup Rocks.

Mrs Dawkins said the coun­cil had not de­cided whether a pool would be part of its Fore­shore Plan.

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