Coun­cil fac­ing new bar­ri­ers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

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