FPA asked to clean up beaches

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Jon Bas­sett

www.com­mu­ni­tynews.com.au THE Fre­man­tle Port Author­ity made a com­mit­ment 23 years ago to clear de­bris at fam­ily beaches – an is­sue that has come to the sur­face once again in 2018.

The FPA made the com­mit­ment to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity in 1995 to dig out the de­bris at beaches now lit­tered by rocks, as­bestos, tiles and glass near land re­claimed at Rous Head, North Fre­man­tle.

“Re­moval will be ar­ranged by the FPA us­ing ei­ther a large ex­ca­va­tor equipped with a spe­cial bucket or by a front-end loader dur­ing pe­ri­ods of calm at low tide,” the FPA said in the com­mit­ment at the time.

Since Jan­uary, and in 2016, beach ero­sion has ex­posed rub­ble, the shards and old sea de­fence boul­ders at Sand­tracks and Port beaches next to a 27ha recla­ma­tion from 2009.

The de­bris col­lects be­tween the low and high wa­ter marks, has in­jured swim­mers and is claimed to have washed as far as 1km north to Leighton Beach.

The FPA’s 1995 com­mit­ment con­cerned lime­stone or rub­ble from any new seawall and recla­ma­tion, but since Jan­uary it has claimed the cur­rent de­bris could have come from other sources, in­clud­ing 19th and 20th cen­tury dump­ing and old beach­side in­dus­tries.

The com­mit­ment was miss­ing when the FPA got the EPA’s nod to dredge Fre­man­tle Har­bour for the 27ha in 2009.

When it ap­proved the 1995 pro­posal, the EPA rec­om­mended the FPA “im­ple­ment a strat­egy for man­age­ment of the af­fected beach” af­ter any ero­sion, but the 2009 rec­om­men­da­tions com­mit­ted the FPA to only mon­i­tor and in­spect the shore’s sta­bil­ity.

“We just want it fixed and the FPA or the coun­cil should send down a front-end loader ev­ery day it ap­pears, be­cause they just seem to be wait­ing for win­ter for it to go away or be cov­ered up,” daily beach walker Peter McLarty said.

An FPA spokes­woman said it was work­ing with the coun­cil and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments on fu­ture man­age­ment of the rocks.

Asked about the 1995 com­mit­ment, the spokes­woman said shore­line mon­i­tor­ing was con­ducted un­til 2010.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d480513

Beach walk­ers Peter McLarty (left) and Paul Martin want the Fre­man­tle Port Author­ity to hon­our com­mit­ments to clean up rub­ble on the beach.

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