Lack of vi­sion for tower

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

THE Cottes­loe Surf Life Sav­ing Club is giv­ing away a State Govern­ment-sup­plied beach watch­tower af­ter crit­i­cism of its pro­posed lo­ca­tion 1km south of Cottes­loe Beach.

“The City of Perth (SLSC) re­quires a tower ur­gently so I’ll send it there, be­cause by the time it could be al­lowed for Cottes­loe sum­mer will be over,” Cottes­loe SLSC pres­i­dent David Houn­slow said af­ter the Town of Cottes­loe de­ferred a de­ci­sion last week on his pro­posal to place the watch­tower at Dutch Inn.

Mr Houn­slow said he had talked with coun­cil staff and sev­eral ad­ja­cent neigh­bours for about six months about a 4mhigh tower manned on week­ends un­til April, with ra­dio con­tact to am­bu­lances, res­cue he­li­copters, the main Cottes­loe Beach pa­trol and Wa­ter Po­lice.

He said it would mainly be used for off­shore sur­veil­lance for nearby kitesurfer res­cues, first aid and faster re­sponse times along the in­creas­ingly used south Cottes­loe coast.

Cur­rently, only in­flat­able dinghy and oc­ca­sional dune buggy and walk surf pa­trols oc­cur along the 2km south from Cottes­loe Beach and past Dutch Inn to Mos­man Park dog beach.

Mr Houn­slow said the tower would give vol­un­teers low-glare vi­sion to 1km off­shore and treat the pub­lic on­shore when sum­mer traf­fic blocked coastal Marine Ter­race for emer­gency ser­vices.

“By the time the life­savers on Cottes­loe’s main beach get the mes­sage and re­spond 15 min­utes have gone by, and by the time life­savers ar­rive on the scene with de­fib­ril­la­tor and oxy­gen an­other 15 min­utes have passed, and the pa­tient could be dead when the am­bu­lance ar­rives five min­utes later,” he said.

How­ever, coun­cil­lors’ con­cerns about the pro­posed site in­cluded whether neigh­bours and other users had been told, if life­savers could see the beaches and if the tower could top­ple on grass.

Wind­surfers have used the pro­posed site since the late 1970s. Wind­surf­ing WA pres­i­dent Tim Bra­zier said while greater safety was sup­ported, the tower would af­fect their fore­shore use and may not give life­savers beach views be­yond 300m to the north.

Mayor Jo Dawkins said while she had no prob­lems with ex­tra safety, the pro­posal had not dealt with life­savers’ sight­lines, there had been no con­sul­ta­tion with wind­surfers and neigh­bours, and it would be “ir­re­spon­si­ble” for the coun­cil to make a de­ci­sion with­out talks.

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