Council facing new barriers
COTTESLOE Council will continue to consider a shark barrier despite Premier Colin Barnett last week announcing Sorrento and Albany as sites for the safe swimming enclosures.
“The issue of the barrier will be put back to council in August,” Cottesloe chief executive Mat Humfrey said.
The council has been exploring an Eco Shark Barrier from the end of Cottesloe Groyne to near the Indiana Restaurant after public opposition to the State Government’s drumlines and other measures, including net enclosures at Dunsborough and Busselton, built after six fatal shark attacks in three years in WA.
In the 2015-16 State Budget, $400,000 was allocated to provide two enclosures but councils needed to pay maintenance.
Mr Humfrey said Cottesloe Council was getting barrier licences and permits that would be reported to councillors in August.
He said the meeting could determine whether council continued discussions on the barrier with all those affected by the structure.
A September 2014 Hydrobiology report into the South-West enclosures found Cottesloe was a potential new site only from December to February but Mr Barnett has said the beach’s waves, swell and weed would be problems.
Last week he said Cottesloe “more so than other metropolitan beaches” already benefited from Government-funded land and aerial patrols, jet skis, watch towers and shark listening devices.
“A Government-funded enclosure at another location in the northern metropolitan region is therefore considered more equitable at this point in time,” Mr Barnett said.
His spokeswoman said Albany and Joondalup councils would decide whether to replicate the Dunsborough and Busselton enclosures, approach Eco Shark Barrier or tender for all designs.
Eco Shark Barrier inventor Craig Moss said Sorrento was an ideal site for a barrier because offshore reefs created sites protected form swell near Sorrento SLSC and Hillarys Marina.
“I wouldn’t be putting a barrier in at Cottesloe if I didn’t know it could also handle those conditions; I’ve been to Sorrento and it’s a lot more protected than Cottesloe,” Mr Moss said.