Coun­cil widens its net

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Jon Bas­sett

COTTESLOE Coun­cil will widen its lat­est in­ves­ti­ga­tion into shark at­tack pre­ven­tion mea­sures to in­clude de­tec­tion buoys and un­der­wa­ter elec­tro­mag­netic fields.

Mayor Phil Angers would like the net-like bar­ri­ers that made Coogee and Sor­rento beaches pop­u­lar.

“I look at Coogee and you can see so many peo­ple there and peo­ple say, ‘I know I’m safe and the kids are safe’,” Mr Angers said at last week’s meet­ing.

He suc­cess­fully asked coun­cil­lors for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter on­go­ing re­ports from life­savers, res­i­dents and busi­nesses of less swim­mers and fewer cus­tomers in re­cent years.

Mr Angers said that a bar­rier would give peo­ple “peace of mind”, re­store par­ents’ con­fi­dence in surf life­sav­ing and swim­ming classes, and could be re­moved for win­ter surf­ing.

“You don’t have to ask many peo­ple to know that the per­cep­tion of shark at­tack is high,” Cr Lor­raine Young said.

Cr Rod Thomas said the new in­ves­ti­ga­tion should in­clude the lat­est avail­able de­vices or prod­ucts.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Mat Hum­frey said it would in­clude the clever buoys de­tec­tion sys­tem that re­lied on a text mes­sage warn­ing sent to beach­go­ers.

Mr Hum­frey will also seek gov­ern­ment plan­ning and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mits for a bar­rier so any po­ten­tial in­stal­la­tion is not de­layed next sum­mer.

A bar­rier has Cottesloe Surf Life Sav­ing Club sup­port, and pro­po­nents say it could be an in­terim mea­sure be­fore any pro­posed sea pool is built.

I don’t re­ally fear sharks when I come to the beach. It’s the risk you take.”Jake Wood, Gidge­gan­nup They put in a bar­rier at our Light­house Beach, but the prob­lem at Bal­lina was the storm surges pushed it off the beach and it wasn’t ef­fec­tive, so they had to sort that out there,”Mick Wil­son, Bal­lina, NSW Every­thing is try­ing to kills us here – snakes, spi­ders and sharks – so you’ve just got to be aware of your en­vi­ron­ment.”Katie Sch­mitz, Michi­gan, USA

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