Debris, asbestos warning
SWIMMERS are being told to take a dip elsewhere because of dangerous debris including asbestos heading north from Sandtracks and Port beaches, North Fremantle.
‘For your safety, swimming at an alternate beach is recommended,’ say new Fremantle Council signs on the beaches and at nearby car parks.
On the narrowing beaches, new limestone rocks are in the surf break and rubble and pipes have now been exposed at manmade dunes next to a demolished 1960s fuel depot.
Other rubble, asbestos, tile shards and rocks from Sandtracks’ historic dumps have moved north along Port to Leighton beaches since January, before Community News exposed last month how the Fremantle Port Authority (FPA) agreed in 1995 to remove debris from its land reclamation for nearby Rous Head container yards.
However, that requirement was missing from the previous State government’s approval for the reclamation in 2009.
Daily beach users still want the beaches and dunes cleaned, despite being told by council staff a meeting of managers had concluded the work would be uneconomic.
“Beachgoers, who actually read the signs or had them pointed out are annoyed, disappointed and confused that City of Fremantle are telling them they shouldn't be here at the beach they have been coming to all of their lives,” clean-up campaigner Peter Mclarty said.
Fremantle Council infrastructure director Graham Tattersall said the beaches would be closed if the daily inspections determined they were unsafe, and it has asked the Department Transport for a grant for a study to tackle the immediate erosion risks, but debris will be removed when required because previous attempts had “limited success”.
An FPA spokeswoman said it and Fremantle Council had agreed to share the cost of beach inspections, removal of rubble, building debris and anything with asbestos.
Warning signs are not enough say daily beach users (from left) Paul Martin, Brian Jakovich, Paul Gebbedy, Theo Koning and Myra Stanbury.